What I’m Reading: Getting Things Done

Right now, I’m reading at least four books and all of them are great so far. But one book I’ve been reading over the last week or so that has been helpful is Getting Things Done by David Allen. This is a book that I’ve been aware of for at least ten years and I’ve attempted to read at least once, but I’m actually reading it now and finding great value in it.

This book is extremely dry and dense – yet it’s been praised by so many people I admire that I decided I had to read it. Basically, it lays out a strategy for increasing your productivity and minimizing your stress by doing the following things:

  • Have one trusted place where you put all of your todos.
  • Write your todos specificly┬áso that you understand exactly what action to take to complete them.
  • Review your todos regularly.
  • Schedule or delegate everything in your inbox that you can.
  • Things that take less than minutes should be done immediately.
  • Have a someday/maybe list for things that can’t be done right away but that you don’t want to forget about.

That’s basically it – but the author gets very specific about this. It’s definitely a worthwhile read.

Currently, I’m implementing this list using the app Things for iPhone, iPad and Mac. Things is NOT cheap. (The three apps together cost me $80.). But it’s the best todo app out there if you are in the Apple ecosystem.

The first thing I do every morning and last thing I do every night is go over my inbox and schedule todos and write down anything on my mind. Also, whenever I’m doing something and think of something I need to do (whether it’s “write a note of encouragement to so and so” or “figure out what is wrong with the pantry door”) – I immediately stop and and put it in my inbox. Whenever I get a few minutes and don’t know what to do next, I look at that list.

It’s simple, but it keeps me from being stressed out about all of the little plates I have to keep up in the air.

If you haven’t read Getting Things Done yet, you should pick it up. It can help you get more done and be lessed stressed about it.

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