GTD: Work smart!

GTD stands for Getting Things Done. It is a popular book by David Allen about time-management and working effectively.

I first heard of this concept from a friend's blog. It is based on the observation that we usually waste too much time planning things than actually doing them!

The implementation is very simple and can be done in many ways - you can view it in this flowchart. This is how I implement it: I use a calendar and 5 notes on my PC desktop, each for a specific purpose of grouping tasks:
  • the "Bucket"
  • the "Next actions"
  • the "Projects"
  • the "Waiting-for" group
  • the "Later/when i can" group

Then I work like this:
  1. New idea or you remembered something to do? --> In the Bucket right away!
  2. Every day, preferably before finishing work or going to bed, clean the Bucket*.
  3. Every day, starting from the morning, do what is your Next actions and check your calendar for scheduled things.
*How to clean the Bucket
For each item, ask: Can you do something about it now?
  • If not now but maybe later, put it in the Later group.
  • If not at all, through it away.
  • If yes, move it to another group.
  • If it's a single small task, deal with it now.
  • If it's a single task but not short, then it depends. If you have to do it ASAP, put it in the Next actions. If it's for a specific time in the future, schedule it in the calendar (and put a notification). If it's for someone else, ask him to do it and put it in the Waiting-for.
  • For big projects, that include many tasks and take time, use the Projects group to keep track of them and their tasks. Check for needed actions for each project and follow the same process as above for each action.
Believe me, after a week or two you'll see your life becoming much easier! You won't be frustrated about forgetting to do things or new ideas. You will start being more on time. You'll see yourself doing more stuff you want to do each day. If you really follow it, then you'll manage to waste less time on useless un-important things.
My advice: use it not only for your work, but customise it for all your life (e.g. songs that I want to find, movies to watch, dates, birthdays, etc)

Related links:
Black Belt productivity

1 comment:

harry :) said...

Here's a review of a good free online programme for GTD: Vitalist.
Check it out!