You may have seen my previous posting about my attempt at trying to be more organised and pro-active in my day-to-day tasks. All of that stemmed from my reading of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” which is subtitled as “How to Achieve Stress-free Productivity”.
It’s a bit of a no brainer but the tools and techniques presented do actually work. I won’t give it away but one of the ideas is that a lot of the stress associated with having things to do comes from not having a firm grasp on actually knowing what needs to be done. It also extols the ideas of breaking tasks down into their fundimental steps and also running new tasks through a specific workflow to decide how they should be delt with. As long as you know what you’re not doing then thats a step towards not stressing about everything.
Already I’m finding it’s making a difference, especially the rule of “If it takes less then 2 minutes to do, do it now”. Rather then having piles and piles of emails stack up, I’m sorting them a lot better and dealing with them a lot quicker. It does take discipline though. The author says it himself. The moment you let the system slip then you’ll no longer see it as a reliable system and will just end up not using it.
I especially liked the writing style as I found it nice light which meant you could practically scan the book and still manage to pick up the main themes. One of the things to come from the book was this whole idea of the Hipster PDA. If you do a google or flickr search you’ll find loads of examples and even some really nice templates for pocket sized GTD-based cards.
So what are you waiting for? Go and get things done!