The Workflow Diagram: a rock-solid, yet super-flexible system for dealing with every outstanding item on your to-do list.
Email Management: a really effective method for managing emails so you can keep your inbox clear (while ensuring nothing drops through the cracks).
The Tickler File: a simple system of reminders that’s out of sight, out of mind… but set to jump back into view when required. (A way of setting to-dos, that’s light years beyond an inflexible, prioritized list.)
A Commonsense Filing System: manage all your free-floating bits of paper. (And quickly and easily find them when required.)
FYI: It’s cool that you can implement any one of these strategies and enjoy immediate results. You don’t have to use the entire system or wait until you’ve read the entire book to start enjoying the benefits.
A word of warning: you need to read beyond the first 80 pages to appreciate this amazing book. It begins with a broad strategic overview and contains tremendous insights that certainly tapped into the reality of my life. I found myself nodding along… and then, after a while, nodding off.
To be clear, David Allen absolutely delivers on the nuts and bolts; he just takes a little too long to get there. The irony here is that his audience is extremely busy, stressed people who feel pushed for time, go figure!
As a motivational speaker I appreciate that getting “big picture” buy-in from an audience (in person or in print) is vital before providing a tactical, step-by-step way to dig yourself out of a hole. That said, there is a balance to be had. The goal is to create credibility and then start checking the tactical boxes. Here are the broad strokes, followed closely by the nitty-gritty. I get it. Now, how do I get out of it?
Bottom line: if you’re looking for an organic approach to more productivity with less stress, I highly recommend Getting Things Done. It will clear your desk, clear your mind and help you take back control of your life.