GTD - Get Things Done
The acronym "GTD" is synonymous with "Getting Things Done" a phrase coined by David Allen. GTD works as it's a groundbreaking work-life management system and book that transforms personal overwhelm and overload into a cohesive system of stress-free productivity.
GTD allows overwhelmingness to be alleviated, creates confidence and releases a flood of creative energy. It gives structure without constraining at the same time, with the ability to manage details with the most flexibility. The system follows the core principles of productivity, while allowing great freedom on the "how". The only correct way to "get things done" is to get the meaningful things in your life done with
Getting Things Done works as it begins with addressing a critical barrier to completing the atomic items that we want to accomplish in any given day. That’s “stuff.” Indeterminate, unactionable, massive amount of stuff. David says:
Here’s how I define “stuff:” anything you have allowed into your psychological or physical world that doesn’t belong where it is, but for which you haven’t yet determined the desired outcome and the next action step. [pg. 17]
Stuff clogs up our heads and causing untold stress and anxiety. Meetings, weddings to attned, empty fridge, broken lawn mowers, daycare applications, your overweight problems, tooth aches, dirty laundry and imminent jury duty all compete for your ultimate attention in our overflowing brains. Stuff has no “home” and, therefore, no place to go, so it just keeps bouncing around.
To contribute to it, we’re too distraught and think about it continuously, and we definitely don’t have time to really do everything in one day.
If you are one to jump from fire to fire, hoping that you haven’t forgotten anything, depleted of all creativity or even the fundamental human flexibility to adapt your schedule to the needs of your friends, your family or yourself. Your “stuff” has overtaken your brain like a disease, pulling down every process, all encompassing you, making you feel virtually useless. Sound familiar?
GTD works because of it's simple common sense backbone of the theory that with a complete and current inventory of all your commitments that are organized and evaluated in a systematic way, you can clearly focus and see your world from optimal angles and make trusted decisions on what to do (and not to do) at any given moment. It is sophisticated with plenty of flexibility and not confining. GTD is a simple, step-by-step and highly efficient method for achieving a relaxed, productive state. It involves:
- Gathering everything and anything that has your attention
- Defining actionable items into outcomes and concrete next steps
- Categorinzing information and reminders in a streamlined way, based on how and when you need to access them
- Keeping current and evaluating with frequent reviews at appropriate times the six horizons of your commitments (purpose, vision, goals, areas of focus, projects, and actions)
GTD - How Does it Work?
Here's a summary of how it works:
- identify all the items in your life that doesn't seem to fit in and isn’t in the right place (close all open loops)
- remove the stuff that doesn't belong to you or you don’t need right now
- develop a right place that works for you and that supports your working style and values
- put your items in the right place, consistently
- do your tasks in a way that honors your time, your energy, and the context of any given time
- repeat and reevaluate ferociously
In summary, you collect the items in your life and categorize them into real, actionable items or discard the things you don't need. Everything you keep is prioritized and has been identified as being meaningful in your life for now and well into the future. By conducting this inventory you know, without a doubt, that nothing gets lost and that you will always know where you stand with your tasks.
In addition, the system includes ongoing periodic reviews which help you evaluate your organized stuff at various levels.
Organize It Now!