Getting Things Done (GTD)

What is GTD

  • Getting Things Done is an action management method created by David Allen and described in a book of the same name.
  • GTD rests on the principle that a person needs to move tasks out of the mind by recording them externally–As a result, the mind is freed from the job of remembering everything that needs to be done and can concentrate on performing those tasks.

Origins of GTD

  • 30 yrs of experience in management consulting and coaching (thousands of hours of working w/ people 1 on 1)
  • David Allen loved processes•Getting open loops out of people’s heads and deciding the next actions
  • Weekly review came from managing gas stations (back in the 70s)

The Five Stages of Mastering GTD Workflow

  • Collection
  • Processing
  • Organizing
  • Reviewing
  • Doing

The Five Stages of Mastering GTD Workflow

  • We (1) collect things that command our attention;
  • (2) process what they mean and what to do about them; and
  • (3) organize the results, which we•
  • 4) review as options for what we choose to
  • (5) do

This constitutes the management of the “horizontal” aspect of our lives – incorporating everything that has our attention at any time.

So How Does GTD work?

  • Identify all the stuff in your life that isn’t in the right place (close all open loops)
  • Get rid of the stuff that isn’t yours or you don’t need right now
  • Create a right place that you trust and that supports your working style and values•Put your stuff in the right place, consistently
  • Do your stuff in a way that honors your time, your energy, and the context of any given moment
  • Iterate and refactor mercilessly

The GTD Personal Organization System

  • Calendar (Reviewed most frequently)
  • Project List
  • Action List (Inventory of pre-defined actions)
  • Waiting List
  • Someday/Maybe List

The GTD Weekly Review

  • Clean House at least once a week
  • Purpose of the GTD Weekly Review is not to do it as quickly as possible
    • It’s to get clear, current & creative
  • Weekly Review is like the “Thinking Review“

GTD Regular Activities

  • Keep everything out of your head
  • Decide actions and outcomes when things first emerge on your radar instead of later
  • Regularly review and update the complete inventory of open loops of your life and work

GTD References

“Your Mind is for Having Ideas, NOT Holding Them.”
— David Allen