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Review of Getting Things Done

By Yogi B, January 2, 2014

“Getting things done” is a miraculous method invented by David Allen in his famous book, known by the same title. ‘Getting things done’ method introduced by the productivity consultant, David Allen is commonly known as GTD method.
Although the GTD method seems like a tough one to follow but David Allen’s presentation of this method has changed the lives of many. It is a simple method teaching a person to note down his tasks or activities on a piece of paper and then focus on the ways to accomplish those tasks. Noting down the tasks on a piece of paper would help an individual save his precious time, so he could focus his thoughts on how to complete the tasks instead of straining to remember the tasks. Basically, following the GTD method would also help him relax his mind by shifting the stressful items on the piece of paper.

Historical significance:

Managing time has always been a great problem for millions of human beings for centuries. Many management specialists throughout the history lectured mankind on different ways to manage their time in such a way that all of their tasks could be managed properly. But none of them proved to be very effective. Every human gets 24 hours a day and managing his all of the pressing tasks in this short time is very difficult and complicated. Plus the issue of stress is always at hand. Managing to fulfill a task in a stressful environment always slows down your productivity as the human body is designed to show better efficiency in a calm, stress-free environment. David Allen’s “Getting things done” holds a great importance in the history of management as it is the only book that introduces a proper work flow method through which a person should first of all relieve his mind of all the stresses, note down all the tasks he intend to perform and then direct all of his physical and mental energy on devising plans to accomplish those tasks.

Secret behind the book:

David Allen passed through a long path in a very short time before becoming a productivity consultant. He strongly believed that a person should transfer the stressful tasks from his mind to any external hardware or software in order to improve his productivity due to the power of peaceful mind. According to a confirmed source, David Allen played his roles in the professions of magician, waiter and manager of various companies, a karate master, cook and various other departments before he reached the age of 35. He tried to improve his level of productivity by getting rid of all sorts of stresses and accomplishing as many tasks as possible in very little time. This is why his GTD method changed the lives of many executives and managers around the world.

Main points mentioned in the book:

The number one point collect means to collect all the tasks or the activities that you are planning to do on any sort of hardware i.e. a piece of paper or any sort of software. Many sorts of software programs named as the tools of GTD are available in the market that could easily help a person in this procedure.

The second point process means to put your thoughts in an action about the given tasks if less time is needed for them. Otherwise, if they are such tasks which can be called ‘time-consuming’ tasks then it is better to delegate them or devise a proper coast of action as how to perform them at some other time.

Then the writer explains the third point in the book which is very important of all the points as it describes how to organize or prioritize your tasks according to their importance or urgency. Some of the tasks you have to organize under the heading of ‘next actions’, this heading means to note down the next actions that you have in your mind in order to fulfill this task in a complete and proper manner. Next comes the heading of ‘projects’, it means multiple tasks required to complete a single project. Then there is the ‘waiting for’ heading, including all of those tasks delegated to any other person. This heading is noted in order to remind yourself of all the tasks that you have delegated and must find out that whether the other person has completed them or not. And the last heading is ‘someday/maybe’, representing all those activities that you have noted to be accomplished in far-away future. These things don’t hold any importance in your present or near-future so you make a mental note to accomplish these tasks whenever deemed necessary or whenever you felt the need.

The fourth point included in this book is the point of reviewing all the tasks each day of your week so if any change needs to be done to the task list then it could be done on time. This constant reviewing of all the tasks will help you keep up with your achievements.

And the very last point is very important of all the points as it compels you to show action on all the plans you have devised to accomplish the tasks. The very main theme of all this hard work is to accomplish something and without properly acting and accomplishing a task, all of the above given hard work would be just a waste.

GTD Tools:

There are many GTD tools or software applications that are nowadays part of every official work and millions of people around the world are benefiting from them. Some of the tools included in the category of ‘List Managers’ include: Microsoft outlook, Lotus notes, iPhone reminders, paper organizers, digital list managers, etc. Some of the other tools in use are Jot box, personal brain, mind manager, active words, typing master, text expander, drop box, etc.


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