Written by David Allen, this international best-seller was published a few years ago now (2001 in the United States of America and 2008 in France). It is still pertinent and inspiring due to the fact that the method is simple, comprehensive and pragmatic.
Reorganise your working spaces
Stacks of paper, folders and memos that gather on our desks cause disruption and are a distraction even if we do not notice them. Clarifying your physical space helps you to clarify your mental space too. In order to implement the method, it is important to set aside time for tidying up, sorting out folders, getting the right equipment and defining the sorting system which best suits us.
”Mind like water”
With e-mails, telephone messages, meetings and appointments, requests and information converge in a continuous stream but time and resources for processing remain the same. Our brains are crammed full of to-do lists and uncompleted tasks which David Allen refers to as “open loops”. They weigh us down, cause stress and monopolise resources that could be used for their accomplishment.
One of the main principles of Getting Things Done is to make a note of everything that weighs you down, capture all of the tasks – little, big, personal and profession, urgent and everything else – and to put them all into a reliable external memory: a sheet of paper that you use to make a note of your tasks, a sheet per task.
Manage your activities
With the input data in hand, it is necessary to clarify it and organise the way in which it is processed. Above and beyond the method put forward – determine the next action to do, organise into projects, regularly review your lists and, lastly, take action-, several simple tips can really change your life:
- Approach the items in order, starting at the top. Dealing with them by priority, urgency or interest is the best way of leaving some tasks aside.
- Never put anything back into the inbox.
- Always determine the next physical action to do to deal with a task. Organising the first week back after the summer break is not a task. Calling the managing director’s assistant or booking a room in advance are, however, concrete actions which make it possible to move forwards.
- Our favourite piece of advice is the 2-minute rule. If something takes less than two minutes to achieve, then do it straight away, even if it is not urgent. This simple piece of advice can change the way you work and save lots of time.
What if SCRIBZEE® could help you to apply the GTD method?:
Planning your day according to your agenda: the day before or the morning before starting your day, use a sheet of paper in your notebook to list all of the actions that you have decided to complete during the day. Date the page, scan it with SCRIBZEE® so that you can look at it anywhere, any time.
Do not be over ambitious, set yourself a realistic and achievable list of tasks which, at the end of the day, will show you how efficient you have been. The aim is to successfully complete all of the tasks in the day. There is nothing worse than having to keep on postponing incomplete actions. If this does happen, though, ask yourself this: were the tasks I listed really concrete actions to be completed rather than mini projects requiring several real actions?
Come on, tomorrow is another day!