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Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Compiled by Chuck Olson

Getting Things Done

Title: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Author: David Allen

Copyright Date: 2001

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity is a veritable boot camp for those who are looking to elevate their effectiveness, both personally and professionally. Written by management consultant to countless high-capacity CEOs, David Allen presents an inarguable thesis that only when a person’s mind is clear and thoughts are organized can he achieve the highest level of productivity and creativity. From there he follows it up with chapter after chapter of practical, time-tested, and game-changing strategies.

I believe any leader would find high value in understanding a fairly obvious thesis, but one that is rarely practiced with the intentionality Allen presents.

Check out these BookNotes to learn more about what this book has to offer.

Book Description:

In today’s world, yesterday’s methods just don’t work. In Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to tens of thousands of people across the country. Allen’s premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential. In Getting Things Done Allen shows how to:

* Apply the “do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it” rule to get your in-box to empty
* Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations
* Plan projects as well as get them unstuck
* Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed
* Feel fine about what you’re not doing

From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done can transform the way you work, showing you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.

Book Quotes:

From that perspective I have to acknowledge that even the title of this book can be somewhat misleading, giving many the impression that I am somehow advocating working harder and longer to get more done. Productivity, unfortunately, does have connotations of both business and busy-ness. In truth, this book is not so much concerned with getting things done as it is championing appropriate engagement with your world—guiding you to make the best choice of what to do in each moment, and to eliminate distraction and stress about what you’re not doing. The resulting clarity and psychological space can benefit a much broader range of people than simply professionals on a corporate career track. LOCATION: 227

You already know how to do everything necessary to achieve this healthy, high-performance state. If you’re like most people, however, you need to apply these skills in a more timely, complete, and systematic way so you can get on top of it all instead of feeling buried. And though the method and the techniques I describe in this book are immensely practical and based on common sense, most people will have some major habits that must be modified before they can fully enjoy the benefits of this system. The small changes required—changes in the way you clarify and organize all the things that command your attention—could represent a significant alteration in how you approach some key aspects of your day-to-day activities. But the results are often reported as transformational. LOCATION: 392

The methods I present here are all based on three key objectives: (1) capturing all the things that might need to get done or have usefulness for you—now, later, someday, big, little, or in between—in a logical and trusted system outside your head and off your mind; (2) directing yourself to make front-end decisions about all of the “inputs” you let into your life so that you will always have a workable inventory of “next actions” that you can implement or renegotiate in the moment; and (3) curating and coordinating all of that content, utilizing the recognition of the multiple levels of commitments with yourself and others you will have at play, at any point in time. LOCATION: 398

There is a way to get a grip on it all, stay relaxed, and get meaningful things done with minimal effort, across the whole spectrum of your life and work. You can experience what the martial artists call a “mind like water” and top athletes refer to as the “zone,” within the complex world in which you’re engaged. LOCATION: 526

Your ability to generate power is directly proportional to your ability to relax. LOCATION: 545

A basic truism I have discovered over decades of coaching and training thousands of people is that most stress they experience comes from inappropriately managed commitments they make or accept. LOCATION: 567

Anything that does not belong where it is, the way it is, is an “open loop,” which will be pulling on your attention if it’s not appropriately managed. LOCATION: 574

In order to deal effectively with all of that, you must first identify and capture all those things that are “ringing your bell” in some way, clarify what, exactly, they mean to you, and then make a decision about how to move on them. That may seem like a simple process, but in reality most people don’t do it in a consistent way. They lack the knowledge or the motivation, or both, and most likely because they aren’t aware of the prices paid for neglecting that practice. LOCATION: 576

Managing commitments well requires the implementation of some basic activities and behaviors: First of all, if it’s on your mind, your mind isn’t clear. Anything you consider unfinished in any way must be captured in a trusted system outside your mind, or what I call a collection tool, that you know you’ll come back to regularly and sort through. Second, you must clarify exactly what your commitment is and decide what you have to do, if anything, to make progress toward fulfilling it. Third, once you’ve decided on all the actions you need to take, you must keep reminders of them organized in a system you review regularly. LOCATION: 580

You must use your mind to get things off your mind. LOCATION: 585

Welcome to the real-life experience of “knowledge work,” and a profound operational principle: you have to think about your stuff more than you realize but not as much as you’re afraid you might. As Peter Drucker wrote: “In knowledge work . . . the task is not given; it has to be determined. ‘What are the expected results from this work?’ is . . . the key question in making knowledge workers productive. And it is a question that demands risky decisions. There is usually no right answer; there are choices instead. And results have to be clearly specified, if productivity is to be achieved.” LOCATION: 616

Thinking in a concentrated manner to define desired outcomes and requisite next actions is something few people feel they have to do (until they have to). But in truth, it is the most effective means available for making wishes a reality. LOCATION: 624

Until those thoughts have been clarified and those decisions made, and the resulting data has been stored in a system that you absolutely know you will access and think about when you need to, your brain can’t give up the job. You can fool everyone else, but you can’t fool your own mind. It knows whether or not you’ve come to the conclusions you need to, and whether you’ve put the resulting outcomes and action reminders in a place that can be trusted to resurface appropriately within your conscious mind. If you haven’t done those things, it won’t quit working overtime. Even if you’ve already decided on the next step you’ll take to resolve a problem, your mind can’t let go until and unless you park a reminder in a place it knows you will, without fail, look. It will keep pressuring you about that untaken next step, usually when you can’t do anything about it, which will just add to your stress. LOCATION: 633

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 what, exactly, it means to you, with the desired outcome and the next action step. LOCATION: 654

We need to transform all the “stuff” we’ve attracted and accumulated into a clear inventory of meaningful actions, projects, and usable information. LOCATION: 658

Things rarely get stuck because of lack of time. They get stuck because what “doing” would look like, and where it happens, hasn’t been decided. LOCATION: 699

In training and coaching many thousands of people, I have found that lack of time is not the major issue for them (though they may think it is); the real problem is a lack of clarity and definition about what a project really is, and what associated next-action steps are required. Clarifying things on the front end, when they first appear on the radar, rather than on the back end, after trouble has developed, allows people to reap the benefits of managing action. LOCATION: 701

You need to control commitments, projects, and actions in two ways—horizontally and vertically. Horizontal control maintains coherence across all the activities in which you are involved…Vertical control, in contrast, manages thinking, development, and coordination of individual topics and projects. LOCATION: 730

There is no real way to achieve the kind of relaxed control I’m promising if you keep things only in your head. As you’ll discover, the individual behaviors described in this book are things you’re already doing. The big difference between what I do and what others do is that I capture and organize 100 percent of my stuff in and with objective tools at hand, not in my mind. And that applies to everything—little or big, personal or professional, urgent or not. Everything. LOCATION: 741

There is no reason to ever have the same thought twice, unless you like having that thought. LOCATION: 753

The core process for mastering the art of relaxed and controlled engagement is a five-step method for managing your workflow—the ever-present ingestion and expressions of our experiences. No matter what the setting, there are five discrete stages that we go through as we deal with our life, our work, and their consistent inputs and changes…We (1) capture what has our attention; (2) clarify what each item means and what to do about it; (3) organize the results, which presents the options we (4) reflect on, which we then choose to (5) engage with. This constitutes the management of the horizontal aspect of our lives, incorporating everything that we need to consider at any time, as we move forward moment to moment. LOCATION: 800

It’s important to know what needs to be captured and how to do that most effectively so you can process it appropriately. In order for your mind to let go of the lower-level task of trying to hang on to everything, you have to know that you have truly captured everything that might represent something you have to do or at least decide about, and that at some point in the near future you will process and review all of it. LOCATION: 844

In order to eliminate “holes in your bucket,” you need to collect and gather placeholders for, or representations of, all the things you consider incomplete in your world—that is, anything personal or professional, big or little, of urgent or minor importance, that you think ought to be different than it currently is and that you have any level of internal commitment to changing. LOCATION: 848

As soon as you attach a “should,” “need to,” or “ought to” to an item, it becomes an incomplete. LOCATION: 860

In order to manage this inventory of open loops appropriately, you need to capture it into “containers” that hold items in abeyance until you have a few moments to decide what they are and what, if anything, you’re going to do about them. Then you must empty these containers regularly to ensure that they remain viable capture tools. LOCATION: 864

The final success factor for capturing should be obvious: if you don’t empty and process the stuff you’ve collected, your tools aren’t serving any function other than the storage of amorphous material. LOCATION: 918

What do you need to ask yourself (and answer) about each e-mail, text, voice mail, memo, page of meeting notes, or self-generated idea that comes your way? This is the component of input management that forms the basis for your personal organization. LOCATION: 939

Being organized means simply that where something is matches what it means to you. LOCATION: 978

To manage actionable things, you will need a list of projects, storage or files for project plans and materials, a calendar, a list of reminders of next actions, and a list of reminders of things you’re waiting for. LOCATION: 983

I define a project as any desired result that can be accomplished within a year that requires more than one action step. LOCATION: 993

You don’t actually do a project; you can only do action steps related to it. LOCATION: 1012

The best practice is to keep your digital reference world as simple as possible, and consistently reviewed and purged. LOCATION: 1030

You need well-organized, discrete systems to handle things that require no action as well as those that do. No-action systems fall into three categories: trash, incubation, and reference. LOCATION: 1079

Someday/Maybe — It can be useful and inspiring to maintain an ongoing list of things you might want to do at some point but not now. This is the “parking lot” for projects that would be impossible to move on at present but that you don’t want to forget about entirely. You’d like to be reminded of the possibility at regular intervals. LOCATION: 1090

The lack of a good general-reference file can be one of the biggest bottlenecks in implementing an efficient personal management system. If filing and storing isn’t easy and fast (and even fun!), you’ll tend to stack, pile, or digitally accumulate things instead of putting them away appropriately. If your reference material doesn’t have nice clean edges to it, the line between actionable and nonactionable items will blur, visually and psychologically, and your mind will go numb to the whole business. Establishing a good working system for this category of material is critical to ensuring stress-free productivity. LOCATION: 1131

For most people the magic of workflow management is realized in the consistent use of the reflection step. This is where, in one important case, you take a look at all your outstanding projects and open loops, at what I call Horizon 1 level (see page 55), on a weekly basis. It’s your chance to scan all the defined actions and options before you, thus radically increasing the efficacy of the choices you make about what you’re doing at any point in time. LOCATION: 1140

Review whatever lists, overviews, and orientation maps you need to, as often as you need to, to get their contents off your mind. LOCATION: 1153

Everything that might require action must be reviewed on a frequent enough basis to keep your mind from taking back the job of remembering and reminding. LOCATION: 1162

All of your Projects, active project plans, and Next Actions, Agendas, Waiting For, and even Someday/Maybe lists should be reviewed once a week. This also gives you an opportunity to ensure that your brain is clear and that all the loose strands of the past few days have been captured, clarified, and organized. LOCATION: 1166

Most people don’t have a really complete system, and they get no real payoff from reviewing things for just that reason: their overview isn’t total. They still have a vague sense that something may be missing. That’s why the rewards to be gained from implementing this whole process are exponential: the more complete the system is, the more you’ll trust it. And the more you trust it, the more complete you’ll be motivated to keep it. The Weekly Review is a master key to maintaining that standard. LOCATION: 1175

The basic purpose of this workflow-management process is to facilitate good choices about what you’re doing at any point in time. LOCATION: 1183

Every decision to act is an intuitive one. The challenge is to migrate from hoping it’s the right choice to trusting it’s the right choice. LOCATION: 1187

At 3:22 on Wednesday, how do you choose what to do? At that moment there are four criteria you can apply, in this order: context, time available, energy available, and priority. LOCATION: 1197

There is always more to do than you can do, and you can do only one thing at a time. The key is to feel as good about what you’re not doing as about what you are doing at that moment. LOCATION: 1203

When you’re getting things done, or “working” in the universal sense, there are three different kinds of activities you can be engaged in:

  • Doing predefined work
  • Doing work as it shows up
  • Defining your work LOCATION: 1213

The Six-Level Model for Reviewing Your Own Work

  • Ground: Current Actions. This is the accumulated list of all the actions you need to take—all the phone calls you have to make, the e-mails you have to respond to, the errands you’ve got to run, and the agendas you want to communicate to your boss and your life partner. LOCATION: 1235
  • Horizon 1: Current Projects. Generating most of the actions that you currently have in front of you are the thirty to one hundred projects on your plate. LOCATION: 1238
  • Horizon 2: Areas of Focus and Accountabilities. You create or accept your projects and actions because of the roles, interests, and accountabilities you have. These are the key areas of your life and work within which you want to achieve results and maintain standards. LOCATION: 1244
  • Horizon 3: Goals. What you want to be experiencing in various areas of your life and work one to two years from now will add another dimension to defining your work. LOCATION: 1251
  • Horizon 4: Vision. Projecting three to five years into the future generates thinking about bigger categories: organization strategies, environmental trends, career and lifestyle transition circumstances. Internal factors include longer-term career, family, financial, and quality-of-life aspirations and considerations. LOCATION: 1254
  • Horizon 5: Purpose and Principles. This is the big-picture view. Why does your company exist? Why do you exist? What really matters to you, no matter what? The primary purpose for anything provides the core definition of what the work really is. It is the ultimate job description. LOCATION: 1258

The key ingredients of relaxed control are (1) clearly defined outcomes (projects) and the next actions required to move them toward closure, and (2) reminders placed in a trusted system that is reviewed regularly. LOCATION: 1272

The goal is to get projects and situations sufficiently clear and under control to get them off your mind, and not to lose any potentially useful ideas. LOCATION: 1289

You’re already familiar with the most brilliant and creative planner in the world: your brain. You yourself are actually a planning machine. You’re planning when you get dressed, eat lunch, go to the store, or simply talk. Although the process may seem somewhat random, a quite complex series of steps has to occur before your brain can make anything happen physically. Your mind goes through five steps to accomplish virtually any task: 1. Defining purpose and principles 2. Outcome visioning 3. Brainstorming 4. Organizing 5.Identifying next actions…Let’s examine each of the five phases of natural planning and see how we can leverage these contexts. LOCATION: 1399

Purpose. It never hurts to ask the why question…Here are just some of the benefits of asking why: It defines success. It creates decision-making criteria. It aligns resources. It motivates. It clarifies focus. It expands options. LOCATION: 1415Whereas purpose provides the juice and the direction, principles define the parameters of action and the criteria for excellence of conduct. LOCATION: 1466

One of the most powerful life skills, and one of the most important to hone and develop for both professional and personal success, is creating clear outcomes. This is not as self-evident as it may sound. We need to constantly define (and redefine) what we’re trying to accomplish on many different levels, and consistently reallocate resources toward getting these tasks complete as effectively and efficiently as possible. LOCATION: 1508

How much of this planning model do you really need to flesh out, and to what degree of detail? The simple answer is, as much as you need to get the project off your mind. LOCATION: 1631

You need no new skills to increase your productivity and reduce your stress—just an enhanced set of systematic behaviors with which to apply them. LOCATION: 1671

The big secret to efficient creative and productive thinking and action is to put the right things in your focus at the right time. LOCATION: 1721

You will resist the whole process of capturing information if your reference systems are not fast, functional, and fun. LOCATION: 1888

Random nonactionable but potentially relevant material, unprocessed and unorganized, produces a debilitating psychological noise. More important, it produces a block in the “flow” part of workflow, and things tend to back up into the area like we see with clogged plumbing. LOCATION: 1894

Getting “in” to empty doesn’t mean actually doing all the actions and projects that you’ve captured. It just means identifying each item and deciding what it is, what it means, and what you’re going to do with it. LOCATION: 2396

The in-tray is a processing station, not a storage bin. LOCATION: 2436

It’s fine to decide not to decide about something. You just need a decide-not-to-decide system to get it off your mind. LOCATION: 2513

Even if the item is not a high-priority one, do it now if you’re ever going to do it at all. The rationale for the two-minute rule is that it’s more or less the point where it starts taking longer to store and track an item than to deal with it the first time it’s in your hands—in other words, it’s the efficiency cutoff. If the thing’s not important enough to be done, throw it away. If it is, and if you’re going to do it sometime, the efficiency factor should come into play. LOCATION: 2588

Having a total and seamless system of organization in place gives you tremendous power because it allows your mind to let go of lower-level thinking and graduate to intuitive focusing, undistracted by matters that haven’t been dealt with appropriately. But your physical organization system must be better than your mental one in order for that to happen. LOCATION: 2689

There are seven primary types of things that you’ll want to keep track of and manage from an organizational and operational perspective:

  1. A Projects list
  2. Project support material
  3. Calendar actions and information
  4. Next Actions lists
  5. A Waiting For list
  6. Reference material
  7. A Someday/Maybe list. LOCATION: 2706

It’s critical that all of these categories be kept pristinely distinct from one another. They each represent a discrete type of agreement we make with ourselves, to be reminded of at a specific time and in a specific way, and if they lose their edges and begin to blend, much of the value of organizing will be lost. LOCATION: 2710

The right amount of complexity is whatever creates optimal simplicity. LOCATION: 3075

Activating and maintaining your Someday/Maybe category unleashes the flow of your creative thinking—you have permission to imagine cool things to do without having to commit to doing anything about them yet. LOCATION: 3281

Make an Inventory of Your Creative Imaginings. What are the things you really might want to do someday if you have the time, money, and inclination? Write them on your Someday/Maybe list. Typical categories include: Things to get or build for your home. Hobbies to take up. Skills to learn. Creative expressions to explore. Clothes and accessories to buy. Toys (hi-tech and otherwise!) to acquire. Trips to take Organizations to join. Service projects to contribute to. Things to see and do. LOCATION: 3289

More than likely you have some special interests that involve lots of possible things to do. It can be fun to collect these on lists. For instance: Food—recipes, menus, restaurants, wines. Children—things to do with them. Books to read. Music to download. Movies to see. Gift ideas. Web sites to explore. Weekend trips to take. Ideas—Misc. (meaning you don’t know where else to put them!) LOCATION: 3302

Capability and willingness to instantly make a checklist, accessible and used when needed, is a core component of high-performance self-management. LOCATION: 3467

If in fact you have now captured everything that represents an open loop in your life and work, clarified and processed each one of those items in terms of what it means to you and what actions are required, and organized the results into an intact system that holds a current and complete overview—large and small—of all your present and “someday” projects, then you’re ready for the next step of implementation in the art of stress-free productivity: the reflection process. LOCATION: 3469

The purpose of this whole method of workflow management is not to let your brain become lax, but rather to enable it to be free to experience more elegant, productive, and creative activity. LOCATION: 3474

Very simply, the Weekly Review is whatever you need to do to get your head empty again and get oriented for the next couple of weeks. It’s going through the steps of workflow management—capturing, clarifying, organizing, and reviewing all your outstanding commitments, intentions, and inclinations—until you can honestly say, “I absolutely know right now everything I’m not doing but could be doing if I decided to.” LOCATION: 3545

From a practical standpoint, here is the three-part drill that can get you there: get clear, get current, and get creative. Getting clear will ensure that all your collected stuff is processed. Getting current will ensure that all your orienting “maps” or lists are reviewed and up-to-date. The creative part happens to some degree automatically, as you get clear and current—you will naturally be generating ideas and perspectives that will be adding value to your thinking about work and life. LOCATION: 3548

This methodology is not simply about cleaning up and getting closure. Those are critical factors, to be sure, to utilize for clarity and focus. Ultimately, though, the prime driver for my own exploration in this field has been creating the space to catalyze and access new, creative, and valuable thinking and direction. LOCATION: 3581

We are naturally creative beings, invested in our existence to live, grow, express, and expand. The challenge is not to be creative—it’s to eliminate the barriers to the natural flow of our creative energies. Practically speaking, it’s about getting your act together, letting spontaneous ideas emerge, capturing them, and utilizing their value. LOCATION: 3584

The Four-Criteria Model for Choosing Actions in the Moment: Remember that you make your action choices based on the following four criteria, in order: Context; Time available; Energy available; Priority. LOCATION: 3699

Handle what has your attention and you’ll then discover what really has your attention. LOCATION: 3917

I have learned over the years that the most important thing to deal with is whatever is most on your mind. The fact that you think it shouldn’t be on your mind is irrelevant. It’s there, and it’s there for a reason. LOCATION: 3925

If you’re not totally sure what your job is, it will always feel overwhelming. LOCATION: 3967

I need to trust that any request or relevant information I put in an e-mail, on a voice mail, in a conversation, or in a written note will get into the other person’s system and that it will be processed and organized soon, and available for his or her review as an option for action. If the recipient is managing voice mails but not e-mail and paper, I have now been hamstrung to use only his or her trusted medium. That should be unacceptable behavior in any organization that cares about whether things happen with the least amount of effort. LOCATION: 4393

Have a personal mission to make “What’s the next action?” part of our global thought process. I envision a world in which no meeting or discussion will end, and no interaction cease, without a clear indication of whether or not some action is needed—and if it is, what it will be, or at least who has accountability for it. I envision organizations adopting a standard that anything that lands in anyone’s field of awareness will be evaluated for action required, and the resulting decisions managed appropriately. Imagine the freedom that would provide for people and organizations to focus their attention on bigger issues and opportunities. LOCATION: 4426

Without a next action, there remains a potentially infinite gap between current reality and what you need to do. LOCATION: 4483

So when do you think most people really make a lot of their next-action decisions about their stuff—when it shows up, or when it blows up? And do you think there might be a difference in the quality of their lives if they handled this knowledge work on the front end instead of the back? Which do you think is the more efficient way to move through life—deciding next actions on your projects as soon as they appear on your radar screen and then efficiently grouping them into categories of actions that you get done in certain uniform contexts, or avoiding thinking about what, exactly, needs to be done until it has to be done, then sputtering through your actions as you try to catch up and put out the fires? LOCATION: 4562

Defining specific projects and next actions that address real quality-of-life issues is productivity at its best. LOCATION: 4667

By this point you’ve probably noticed that Getting Things Done is not some new technology or invention—it simply makes explicit the principles at work within what we all do implicitly. LOCATION: 4685

The model is simply the basic principle of determining outcomes and actions for everything we consider to be our work. When those two key focus points become the norm in our day-to-day lives, the baseline for productivity moves to another level. The addition of brainstorming—the most creative means of expressing and capturing ideas, perspectives, and details about projects—makes for an elegant set of behaviors for staying relaxed and getting things done. LOCATION: 4745

How is this relevant to Getting Things Done? GTD is more than just a way to manage tasks and projects. In many respects it is more concerned with fundamental issues of meaningful work, mindful living, and psychological well-being than simply offering methods for being more efficient or productive for their own sake. The emphasis (and requirement) of outcome thinking concerning the stuff we encounter, as well as achieving a functional way to capture, clarify, organize, and assess the results so we can think more clearly, describes the core practices that truly make the actual experience of life better. LOCATION: 4806

You can only put your conscious attention on one thing at a time. If that’s all that has your attention, you’re in flow. LOCATION: 4858

Undoubtedly during the coming years we will see a continual stream of new scientific data that will validate what I’ve known was true from day one of my experience with this model, and what has been shared by countless others: when all of our potentially meaningful things are captured, clarified, organized, and reflected upon, the more mature, elegant, and intelligent part of who we really are can show up at the table. That produces experiences and results that can’t be beat. LOCATION: 4943

The hallmarks of this next level of maturity with Getting Things Done are: a complete, current, and clear inventory of projects; a working map of one’s roles, accountabilities, and interests—personally and professionally; an integrated total life management system, custom tailored to one’s current needs and direction and utilized to dynamically steer out beyond the day-to-day; and challenges and surprises trigger your utilization of this methodology instead of throwing you out of it. LOCATION: 5039

A signpost of GTD mastery at this stage—and, indeed, life mastery!—is when one recognizes anything that has his or her attention (concerns, worries, problems, issues, tensions) and translates them into achievable outcomes (projects), to be executed with concrete next actions. LOCATION: 5054

This mastery level involves two key aspects: 1. Utilizing your freed-up focus for exploring the more elevated aspects of your commitments and values. 2. Leveraging your external mind to produce novel value. LOCATION: 5098

And, as I hope I’ve made clear throughout this book, the ability to put your attention on the more subtle and elevated levels ofyour life and work to a large degree depends on your being able to “put to bed” the inevitably necessary more operational and mundane aspects that, without your appropriate engagement, can easily distract and exhaust your creative focus. LOCATION: 5105

Getting Things Done is a road map to achieve the positive, relaxed focus that characterizes your most productive state. LOCATION: 5171

Here are some final tips for moving forward:

  • Get your personal physical organization hardware set up.
  • Get your workstation organized.
  • Get in-trays.
  • Create a workable and easily accessed personal reference system—for work and home.
  • Get a good list-management organizer that you are inspired to play with.
  • Give yourself permission to make any changes that you have been contemplating for enhancing your work environments.
  • Hang pictures, buy pens, toss stuff, and rearrange your workspace.
  • Support your fresh start.
  • Set aside time when you can tackle one whole area of your office, and then each part of your house.
  • Gather everything into your system, and work through the Getting Things Done process.
  • Share anything of value you’ve gleaned from this with someone else. (It’s the fastest way to learn.)
  • Review Getting Things Done again in three to six months. You’ll notice things you might have missed the first time through, and I guarantee it will seem like a whole new book.
  • Stay in touch with people who are broadcasting and reflecting these behaviors and standards. LOCATION: 5172

Note: should you wish to find any quote in its original context, the Kindle “location” is provided after each entry.

Chuck Olson

As founder and president of Lead With Your Life, Dr. Chuck Olson is passionate about inspiring, resourcing and equipping Kingdom leaders to lead from the inside out.  To lead, not with the external shell of positions, achievements or titles, but from an internal commitment to a deep, abiding and transparent relationship with Jesus. Serving as a pastor and leadership coach for over forty years, Chuck has a track record of building these truths deep into the lives of both ministry and marketplace leaders.

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