16 October 2010

Read: Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free ProductivityGetting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
by David Allen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Written in 2001, Allen's book contains funny techno references (Palm - ha), but the advice still stands, although clearly ways to implement in new media that weren't available upon publication.

I know this book started a lot of great thinking and productivity tricks ... the 43 folders idea especially (31 daily plus 12 monthly), which I stumbled across several years ago but never actually implemented. I think I just don't want to increase the amount of paper I encounter. I try to keep everything online. I do like the idea of getting to inbox zero, which again I think started in this book. But I use my inbox as my "@action" folder that Allen recommends creating. IF I moved the items currently in my (work) inbox to a similar folder before acting on them and archiving then yeah, I probably could rock that.

A lot of his advice is common sense, but he's so positive and it's presented in such a way that it seems to make even more sense than if I'd thought of it myself.

When I was reading it I still was struggling with my roles at work. (I still am, but it's a different struggle.) I wrote on an index card: I may muddle through in my job, not have clearly defined roles or responsibilities, but I can certainly apply GTD to my non-job projects and be more efficient there.

I don't know that I'll ever FULLY implement the GTD program, but I will certainly take tricks from the book and continue to apply and refine them. I think I'll start @Phone, @Waiting For and @Computer lists ... anything I can do to get things off my mind and onto paper is great. The insomnia is back ... even though exhausted I can lie in bed for hours thinking about work and what needs to be done/what email I should write/phone call I should make/etc.

There's a part in the book about other people's systems ... and how there is no way to control them. And that's hard for me to deal with. Other people not staying on top of their e-mail, so my messages get lost and/or ignored. So that puts additional work on me to remind others to do their job/respond to me. I'm getting more adept at the phone, but calls take so much more time -- for both people.

Will continue to ponder this and maybe write additional posts on how partially applying GTD to my work and home projects turns out.

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