Do you feel like you’re always working to keep up, but don’t really get anything done, especially around holidays? In his best-selling book Getting Things Done, David Allen gives you an effective time management system to help you organize your stuff, your work activities and your personal life.
Allen’s key idea is to start with a “mind sweep” ─ get everything out of your head and down on paper (or other written form). Once your mind is cleared, your productivity goes up and you can focus on creative action. His five basic stages of mastering your personal or professional “workflow” are:
- Collect. Capture anything and everything that is on your mind.
- Process. Decide what each thing means. Is it something you should do? Do it now or later? Can you delegate it (and track on a “Waiting For” list)
- Organize. Place the items in categories, such as Projects, Calendar, Next Actions and Waiting For, and sub-categories of your choice. (To help you visualize this, he includes a diagram for navigating through the processing and organizing phases of your workflow.)
- Review. Go over Calendar and Action lists daily and do a weekly customized review to get clean and current.
- Do. Make choices about your actions based on what you can do, how much time and energy you have and your priorities.
Another one of his most popular methods is the “two minute rule.” If any task can be completed in less than two minutes (for example, a quick email response), do it immediately. Stop putting those little things off.
Allen says Getting Things Done is “just advanced common sense.” But once you learn how to get everything under control, real change begins.
Millions of people around the world have found that his methods work. To order the book, search for “Getting Things Done” at www.amazon.com.
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