For Impact


Getting Things Done

For Impact Ideas | | Nick Fellers

Getting Things Done (GTD for short) is a system for organizing your thinking and increasing productivity. As described by the David Allen Company, “Implementing GTD alleviates the feeling of being overwhelmed, instills confidence and releases a flood of creative energy.”

I read Getting things Done. The Art of Stress Free Productivity several years ago and attended the seminar in 2009 with Kerry. I would recommend both.

GTD allows you to:

  • Only process information once. We frequently read emails on our blackberrys and then think, “I’ll come back to that.” This wastes brain power. You processed the email without an outcome. At best, you will have to do this again. At worst, you’ll forget.
  • Arm yourself to always be productive. Using the GTD system you have readily available action-steps. For me, I always have a list of calls and phone numbers that I can make from an airport. I also always have a list of things to think about over coffee.
  • Return to your priorities on a regular (weekly) basis. A critical part of the system is the weekly review — a pattern of revisiting your key priorities and activities.
  • Dump or Delegate. This is a great rule for an activity that does not support a key priority.

Very few people seem to follow the system perfectly. I probably use more of the mental processing tools and fewer of the scheduling routines. Every referral that’s skimmed the book or attended a seminar has received value I’m mentioning it here as a great recommendation to start 2012.