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Win a Copy of Getting Things Done by David Allen

Getting Things Done - David AllenToday we’re reviewing, discussing, and giving away Getting Things Done by David Allen. Keep reading to learn how you can win a free copy.

Getting Things Done, written by David Allen, is recognized around the world as one of the most important personal productivity books ever written. David Allen has been teaching the principles and methods contained in Getting Things Done to CEOs and fortune 500 companies for decades, resulting in remarkable gains in performance and reductions in stress.

The premise of the book is that we experience a lot of stress and lost productivity from constantly trying to remember and figure out what we need to do. We can reduce stress and increase productivity if we capture outside of our heads everything we need to do and clarify the next action step needed in each project.

The trick, however, is that the system we put in place to capture inputs, define actions, and remind ourselves of what needs to be done has to be completely trustworthy. If we don’t trust the system, our minds won’t let go and we won’t experience the reduced stress and increased performance that is possible. That’s where most people are. Most of us have a system that includes things like inboxes, to-do lists, calendars, and files, but it either doesn’t capture everything, or action steps are unclear, or it doesn’t provide adequate reminders.

In Getting Things Done, David Allen not only explains his comprehensive system, but walks the reader through setting up and getting started with the system.

Personal Thoughts

I am a pretty organized person. I’ve got good systems in place. Ask anyone who’s ever worked or volunteered with me and they’ll tell you I’m the “Action Item Czar.” No meeting I’m in ends without defining action items and making sure those action items get into the assigned person’s to-do list or priorities. I didn’t think I had a whole lot to learn when it comes to managing time, action, and priorities. But, let me tell you…

Getting Things Done is flat out awesome!

Getting Things Done showed me that I had holes and ambiguity in my system. It showed me where my system wasn’t working because certain aspects of it were too much of a pain therefore I wasn’t following it. Now I’m working to implement the Getting Things Done methods into the way I manage my stuff.

Just to be clear, Getting Things Done isn’t software. It isn’t something you have to buy or subscribe to (though, they now offer software to help). It’s a system of processes and methods to help you capture everything in your life that demands your attention, process those inputs into action steps, and organize those action steps in a way that is simple, trustworthy, and freeing.

If you are a busy person, I want to stress that GTD is extremely practical and produces immediate results. Unlike some of the Things You Don’t Have Time NOT to Do that are big-picture things that require a significant investment of time up-front and eventually pay off by saving more time in the long run, you can start implementing Getting Things Done methods quickly with a very small investment of time and they will immediately reduce your stress and free up time.

Getting Things Done is one of the top 3 books I’ve ever read.  I highly recommend you read it. It will change your life.

I’m going to do several most posts about GTD concepts and methods over the coming days.

Discussion:

  1. What do you use to manage your time, actions, and priorities? One big to-do list? Create a daily to-do list? Write everything into a calendar?
  2. To what extent do you find yourself stressing over and trying not to forget things you need to do?
  3. How would your life change if everything you need to do was captured in a system you trusted and didn’t need to think about?
  4. If you’ve read Getting Things Done, what do you think of it and how has it impacted your life?

Get a Free Book

Getting Things Done is soooo good, I’m going to buy one LiveIntentionally.org reader a copy. To win it…

  1. Retweet this post or share it on Facebook, and
  2. Post a comment that addresses one of the discussion questions  (include your Facebook or Twitter usename in your comment so I can connect your comment to your share/tweet).

Get multiple entries into the drawing by sharing/commenting once each day.

I’ll draw a winner at 5 PM Eastern Monday February 28.

25 Responses to “Win a Copy of Getting Things Done by David Allen”

  1. Q. What do you use to manage your time, actions, and priorities? One big to-do list? Create a daily to-do list? Write everything into a calendar?

    I use Google Calendar with tasks for the many items in my personal life and iCal for work. In both situations, email messages remain in my inbox until the task therein is complete.

    facebook.com/rigginsconst
    twitter.com/rigginsconst

    • Thanks for the comment Bridget. I used to keep items in my inbox until they were done too and it got very full and overwhelming. Getting Things Done proposes an “inbox 0” strategy which keeps inputs distinct from tasks. I’ve found it to be very helpful & while this may sound silly, I can’t tell you how great it feels to have an empty inbox 🙂 (even when I have a long list of actions/tasks)

  2. I’ve experimented with the Pomodoro technique. Its central premise is that you’ll be more productive and less streesed by being able to focus without interuption on one single task for 25 min, then take a 5 min break before starting again. I’ve heard good things about GTD and would definately love reading a copy.

    Twitter.com/roguepolymath

  3. I have found that I need a notebook with me all the time to write down my thoughts and I have designated from the front for thoughts and from the back for calendar issues. I buy the three packs of the three by five books and carry in my back pocket. Yes I use the phone as well, but find the notebook – with graph paper pages for three dimensional ideas – is a good backup.

    • That’s great, Chris! Having something handy to write down or record ideas and things you want to do is key to freeing your mind from having to remember them.

  4. When working fulltime I had a pretty good system and managed many tasks, to do lists, and deadlines with a FranklinCovey book.

    Having taken a couple years off, I’ve totally slacked off. Need to get back to organizing my life

  5. Karen (@karensdavis) Reply February 25, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Great review Paul! I’ve heard about this book but have always wondered if it was practical and worth reading. I haven’t found a system that works for me yet so I piecemeal different things together to get things done. I need a better way to organize my time. Sounds like this book could be a great help.

  6. Paul,

    Thanks for the cogent recap and endorsement. As you probably will discover (if you haven’t already), there are many layers of the GTD onion to unpeel.

    All the best,

    David Allen

  7. I’ve been a user of the GTD for a few years, and have bounced through a few different ways to implement it (text files, excel, Remember the Milk, google tasks, etc)

    coming back each time to a paper 7 ring binder of half sheets using scrap paper I recycle. I can move pages around, and the scrap paper has no cost. . .

    My big take away is “what does done look like?” That question helped me break through a lot of ambiguous projects that were not defined well.

    As I coach church ministry teams that are run by volunteers, that question is also very useful in breaking committee log-jams where they are stuck. Using that question helps them dream, creates vision, and energy to actually do something.

    If David Allen wins the random drawing, does he get the book? 🙂

    Chris.

    • Chris, thanks for posting insight from your experience using GTD.

      Hmmm, I think David would understand if I disqualify him from the drawing. 🙂

  8. And the moment you’ve all been waiting for… the winner of Getting Things Done is…

    Bridget Willard aka @RigginsConst

    Congrats Bridget!

    Thanks to everyone who commented on, tweeted, and shared the post. If you didn’t win you can pick up a copy on Amazon at – http://ow.ly/457HJ.

    You might also want to check out the other posts related to GTD I’ve posted recently including…

    – Things You Don’t Have Time NOT to Do: 10) Free Your Mind http://ow.ly/457Mq

    – 46 Insightful Quotes from Getting Things Done http://ow.ly/457NH

  9. For implementing GTD you can use this web-based application:

    http://www.Gtdagenda.com

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote, and also comes with mobile-web, Android and iPhone apps.

  10. I am so pleased that you are doing this discussion. I have read GTD and somewhat begun, but I am ready to re-read and really commit. Perfect timing for me.

  11. Great review Paul! I’ve heard about this book but have always wondered if it was practical and worth reading. I haven’t found a system that works for me yet so I piecemeal different things together to get things done. I need a better way to organize my time. Sounds like this book could be a great help.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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