Getting things done is the productivity system developed by David Allen. Quite possibly the most powerful productivity system developed to date. Executives, managers, entrepreneurs, students, artists, programmers, parents, and professors have all found success using this system.
Is it right for you? Do you struggle with keeping track of hundreds of things to do? Do you often think of and then forget lots of great ideas? Do you sometimes feel a roadblocks on projects because you don’t know where to start? Do you procrastinate when frustrated with a plan? Are papers scattered around your office?
While David Allen doesn’t promise perfection, he does offer a series of techniques that help to manage all of these issues.
- Capture – Capture everything needs attention and out of your head. Big, small, personal, professional, everything
- Clarify – Take everything you capture and make decisions once to do an action immediately, defer it, delegate it, or trash it.
- Organize – Have a home for everything and put it all in it’s place
- Reflect – Keep track of goals and priorities to ensure you are doing the right things
- Engage – Just do the actions
The system works because it
- It optimizes effort by separating fast, inductive thinking from slow, deductive thinking
- Integrates with calendars, projects, reference systems, and to-do lists
- Is designed to be technology independent
- Integrates goals with actions
In 2014, we wrote a blog post on using OneNote 2013 for Getting Things Done – by far our most popular post – Hacking OneNote 2013 for Getting Things Done.
That’s not to say we think GTD is not without room for improvement – The Limits to GTD – but is by far the best system available for achieving success.