Getting Things Done
Friday, September 08, 2006
The time management system I (attempt to) use is called Getting Things Done, as explained in David Allen's book Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity. For those who are not familiar with Getting Things Done, the basic principles are fairly straightforward to grasp:
- Capture everything you need to do in a trusted system- whether it is digital or analog, portable or fixed
- Rephrase everything that needs to be done into 'next actions'- the absolute very next physical act that will move you towards completing a task.
- Capture everything- did I mention that earlier? No matter how important or trivial, unless you place your 'stuff' into a trusted system, you will worry about it, or worry about forgetting about it, or worry that you have forgotten it. So, garden maintenance, urgent office projects, new hobbies, are all 'projects' that need to be tracked in the system
- Use an inbox as an inbox and nothing else- process all tasks in your inbox into 'contexts' - roughly, places or situations where you find yourself often. Contexts in GTD are normally prefixed with @ (so that they come to the top of an alphabetic list on a computer) and might be, for example: @online, @phone, @shopping etc. Instead of grouping actions by project, you process them into these 'stacks' of work, so when you find yourself stuck in traffic, late for a meeting, you can access your @phone context list and get on with some work.
The aim of doing all of these apparently menial things is to get everything out of your head that you would normally worry about doing, so that you can get down to doing things. Instead of remembering what to do next, process a series of lists so that when you want to know what to do, the list is waiting for you.
(I highly recommend checking out 43folders or reading the book for a more complete explanation)
Tagged: GTD, Productivity
posted by Peter le Roux @ 3:16 PM,