Book Review: Getting Things Done

I am often a freak about productivity.  I cannot stand for things to pile up and often set aside large chunks of time dedicated just to “getting things done”.  I ready Getting Things Done by David Allen with the hopes of picking up some good ideas about how to streamline my to-do lists with my workspace and my tasks with my priorities.  Great read…not a ton of revolutionary ideas, just a practical guide for being more efficient with what you are doing.

Here are some of my takeaways straight from the book…

-It’s possible for a person to have an overwhelming number of things to do and still function productively with a clear head and a positive sense of relaxed control.

-Anything that causes you to overreact or underreact can control you, and often does.

-Things rarely get stuck because of lack of time.  They get stuck because the doing of them has not been defined.

-No matter what the setting, there are five discrete stages that we go through as we deal with our work.  We (1) collect things that command our attention; (2) process what they mean and what to do about them; and (3) organize the results, which we (4) review as options for what we choose to (5) do.

-Have you envisioned wild success lately?

-In general, the reason things are on your mind is that the outcome and the action steps have not been appropriately defined, and/or reminders of them have not been put in places where you can be trusted to look for them appropriately.

-One of the best tricks for enhancing your personal productivity is having organizing tools that you love to use.

-Actions choices are based on the following four criteria, in order: context, time available, energy available, and priority.

If you are interested in specific tools to help you be more successful in “getting things done”, check out David Allen’s website here.

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