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Getting Things Done Summary

Getting Things done Summary

An international best-seller, Getting Things Done is a stress-free life-and-work productivity management system that had translated into 28 languages.

Simple Short Summary: Getting Things Done empower you to design a system in which you can collect your thoughts, online projects, and tasks and later split them into multiple lists with an aim that you frequently review and empty your collection so you can free up your mind and reflect on the stuff that is really important to you.

Getting Things Done Summary

(Reading Time: 5 minutes)

In this summary, you’ll learn three lessons:

Lesson: A – Organizing your workspace will empower you to become productive and win the day

Lesson: B – Your to-do lists may burden you thus switch to calendar approach

Lesson: C – To maintain effectiveness and credibility of your system review and clean it

Lesson: A – Organizing your workspace will empower you to become productive and win the day

To start with Getting Things Done is to set up a working environment where all the appropriate materials are available so you can work distraction-free. Thus, create a surrounding where you work seamlessly.

For this, you can prefer your office or your home depending upon your needs. If you travel a lot, you should think about setting up a mobile setup too.

A setup that will allow you to stay productive even on tour. It’s up to you where you work but don’t share your workspaces with anybody.

After allocating a separate space for your work, you need to set up this place with essential tools and instruments.

Some essential tools to set up are a calendar, tape, labeler printer, paper bin, stapler, post-it notes, pens, paper clips, file-folders, papers, paper tray to collect papers and serve as in or out trays, and a table to write smoothly.

Apart from this, you’ll also require a physical filing system as well as a digital version where you can store reference details. For the digital version, you would use digital devices to capture and organize information like your phone, tablet, and computer.

This tool plays a significant role as it helps you to store your articles, documents, notes, and tickets.

Thus, buy a file cabinet along with an empty folder to store your data. A general rule is that a file must be store in a minute otherwise, it’s a waste of time.

You may also use the A-Z filing system in which you arrange your files in alphabetic order. In this system, you sort your files based on company, project, person, or topic names.

So, when you need a specific file, you directly look at that place. This method will save your time in wondering and checking every possible location.

For instance, you’re searching a file with the name of research data of customers for ABC company. After implementing this method, you only require to search at R folder and A folder of your file cabinet to get what you want.

Obviously, checking any file and folder on your computer is far easy all you need is the search bar to find and grab the information. Still, it’s crucial to organize your digital system as well.

Now, the last step is purging your files annually so that the computer doesn’t become a mess and run smoothly. Besides this, the purging process will give you peace of mind.

As it makes your system more reliable and workable because you know you’re putting files away, even when you either require them in the future or not.

With this procedure, you set up your working environment, and now, it’s the time to dive in and start working.

Read: No Excuses Summary

Lesson: B – Your to-do lists may burden you thus switch to calendar approach

The majority of people depend on their to-do lists to manage their productivity.

This list, however, becomes an obsolete method as it leaves too much. Chances are this method will fail you more often than not as you don’t assure yourself how much you can complete in a day.

Therefore, instead of using to-do lists, you must use a modern approach to manage your work with the next action lists and calendar.

Starting with the calendar, in this, you schedule your events based on day, date, and time. It means a calendar only allows you to mark events that are day-specific, date-specific, and time-specific.

An example of time-specific is your appointment with the doctor, day-specific is to call your friend on her first day on the job, and date-specific action is repaying your credit card bill.

Note that, with the help of a calendar, you plan the rest of the day but never fill it up with your to-do lists items as they dilute the effectiveness of your calendar.

Therefore, you should jot down activities and tasks in the next action list. It’s a place where you accumulate all the activities that take more than 2 minutes to accomplish.

Now, once you gather tasks in your next action list, it’s time to sort them out. For this, you need to put each task in one of these lists – waiting for list, project list, and someday/maybe list.

Here each list indicates its own purpose, so if the tasks share the same purpose, place them on that list.

Hence, arranging your tasks by relevancy help in figuring out which activities you can carry out at what place. A handful of activities can only occur at your work desk, while others can execute at the meeting or in your spare time.

Implementing this method makes you productive even when you’re in your office or waiting at the airport for your flight.

Read: Deep Work Summary

Lesson: C – To maintain effectiveness and credibility of your system review and clean it

So far now, you study methods to arrange your ideas, ongoing projects, reminders, and tasks, but this isn’t enough. With ongoing projects, the system will continue to bump up and become another mess to take care of.

Therefore, you need to move on to the next step that is to review and revive your system to maintain its effectiveness.

For this, you need to ensure that the system you’re using is modern and updated regularly. To assure yourself and maintain this level of trust, you’ve to examine the system consistently.

Here, your objective is to track, manage, and control your ongoing projects for ensuring yourself that they’re progressing forward. The mind will only concentrate on the ongoing project when it knows that it can fully trust the system.

Therefore, you should review your calendar daily and go through the details of each project.

Once the calendar work is over, move on to the next step which is to carry out your previous week’s work, clean your collection tool, and grab any thought that still revolves in your head.

Besides this, look through the next action list, tick-off the complete tasks, and move on to analyze your others lists. Others list such as waiting for list, project list, and someday/maybe list.

Note that, each week, you need to set aside a few minutes so that you can update your system. It’s indispensable that you review and revive your system thus, make it a habit to analyze it periodically.

Favorite Quotes from the book:

Favorite Quote From Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done Review

Getting things Done represents a comprehensive guide that helps you to capture your train of thoughts into a structure. It’s especially for people who are stressed, overworked, and craving to increase their productivity in personal and professional lives.

We fear because we forget things especially when we handle multiple issues and projects at once. In this case, you need a sophisticated system to put your ideas and thoughts into it so that you can function effectively.

You can use modern technology or a traditional method to make it possible. A tool that will get things out of your head and arrange them, so you can execute them logically and systematically to regain control of your time.

As Allen says, planning and executing your activities will alleviate the stress from your psyche and make you enormous creative. Also, beginners can even use the GTD app on their phones to manage their day and become more productive.

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