Many of us have read David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done. And even if we haven’t, we’ve heard of it because GTD is one of our favorite abbreviations and a key component of our time management model. But, the book was published in 2001, so I was really intrigued by this article, getting things done in a digital world, which checks back in with Mr. Allen as…a lot has changed since then, right?
In short, he says…not so much. “There’s always more to do than you can do…That’s always been true.” Now, we have new potential addictions: apps, games, email, text that attract and distract us. “Most people are living in a constant emergency-scan modality.” And, he says, this makes the GTD method that much more critical “because it keeps you focused on what you need to be doing.”
Need a quick refresh? Here you go:
Step 1: capture (identify the things that are not automatic — that are bugging you, that are incomplete, that keep you up at night…and get them down in a system you trust — even if just one word, “car” because you need to get it inspected)
Step 2: clarify (what’s the very next action you need to take about “car” – call for an appointment? write that detail down…and by the way…David Allen says even if you can’t do all 5 steps…do this one and you will see a huge difference)
Step 3: organize (decide when you are going to take the next steps with each and park later items with a date so your brain knows they will pop back up and not be forgotten)
Step 4: reflect (look at the items already on your lists)
Step 5: engage (where do I put my attention and resources right now?)
And remember the two minute rule!
“Once you decide the next action, if it can be done in two minutes or less…do it…It’ll take you longer to stack…track…and look again than to just do it.”
Great advice…especially when we are busiest.