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Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (英語) ペーパーバック – 2002/12/31
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In today's world, yesterday's methods just don't work. In Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to tens of thousands of people across the country. Allen's premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential. In Getting Things Done Allen shows how to:
- Apply the "do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it" rule to get your in-box to empty
- Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations
- Plan projects as well as get them unstuck
- Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed
- Feel fine about what you're not doing
From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done can transform the way you work, showing you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.商品の説明をすべて表示する
Both books are excellent as they touch on the same principle - execution. Both offer something different but along a continuum that effectively provides a better model upon which to understand this ground breaking work.
I recommend this book to anyone really trying to bring thier work and life under control without the stress of having so much to do.
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The book covers just about the same material that I learned in the tape series. The tapes have more anecdotes and 'real-life' examples in them, but the book has a few new pearls and tricks that tells me David's been refining and polishing this system since the tape series.
Two last quick points: first, it requires no special binders or refills. You could use a cheap spiral notebook if you want. Personally, I use a palmpilot, which works well. Second, (IMHO) the Weekly Review is the cornerstone of making this system work, and its worked for me for two years. Remember that; it'll make sense once you read the book :) Now if I could only get David to come up with a system for procrastination....
The only problem is, Getting Things Done is terribly painful to read. The problem stems mainly from the fact that there are about fifty pages in the book that contain real information. The other two hundred pages are--no joke--almost word-for-word rehash of those fifty pages. If I had a dime for every time Allen wrote, "Your brain is like a computer. If you fill up its RAM with the things you have to do, you don't get anything done," I seriously would have recouped my investment in this book. I didn't appreciate that I had to search through the entire book to find just a few pages of original wisdom.
If you're interested in this system--and, again, the system really is great--I recommend you check the book out at your local library. If you later feel as though you need the book as a reference, you can always buy it. And if you do read this book, don't feel bad if you skip most of the introduction and all of the last section (which read almost like a fifty page ad for David Allen's consulting services) and if you skim most of the rest. I promise: You're not missing much.
Everyone has experienced times when everything seemed effortless, and progress limitless. David Allen has captured ways for you to achieve that wonderful state of mind and consciousness more often.
His key concept is that every task, promise, or assignment has a place and a time. With everything in its proper place and time, you feel in control and replace the time spent on vague worrying with effective, timely action. As a result, the accomplishments grow while the pressure to accomplish decreases. As a result, the book contains many insights into "how to have more energy, be more relaxed, and get a lot more accomplished with much less effort."
The key psychological insight of this book is that rapid progress occurs when you take large, unformed tasks, and break them down and organize them into smaller, sequential steps for exactly what to do and when. The book provides lots of guidance and examples for how to do this.
The book is organized into three sections. The first gives you an overview of the whole process for how to get more done in a relaxed way. The second spells out the details of how to implement that process, in a way that a personal coach might use. The third provides subtle insights that help you appreciate the benefits that follow from using the process. Like all good coaches, Mr. Allen understands that appreciating a subject from several perspectives and getting lots of practice with it are critical steps in learning.
The process advocated by this book is described with lots of systems flow charts that will appeal to all of the engineers and left-brained people. The right-brained people will find lots of discussions about emotions, feelings, and stress. So both types of thinkers should do well with this material.
The essence of the process is that you write down a note about everything when you take on a new responsibility, make a new commitment, or have a useful thought. All of this ends up in some kind of "in" box. You then go through your "in" box and decide what needs to be done next for each item. For simple issues, this includes identifying the action you should take first and when to take it. For tougher issues, you schedule an appropriate time to work the problem in more detail. You organize the results of this thinking, and review your options for what you should be doing weekly. Then you take what you choose to do, and act. Think of this process as the following five steps: (1) collect (2) process (3) organize (4) decide (5) act.
For the tougher problems, you start with identifying your purpose and principles so you know why you care how it all turns out. Then you imagine the potential good outcomes that you would like. Following that, you brainstorm with others the best way to get those outcomes. Then you organize the best pathway. Finally, you identify the first actions you need to take. Then you act, as in step 5 above.
From this outline, I hope that you can see that this is not rocket science. It is simple common sense, but with discipline. The critical part is the discipline because that is what focuses your attention where it will do the most good. For example, rather than sitting on something you have no idea how to get started, you can decide right away to get ideas from others on what the purpose and principles are that should be used in selecting a solution. So, you are in motion, and you have saved much time and anxiety.
What I learned from this book is that many people allow a lot of time to pass without taking any useful steps because they cannot imagine what to do next. This process should usually overcome that problem by showing you what to work on, providing methods to accomplish that step in the process, and guiding you to places where you can get appropriate help. As a result, this book should help overcome the bureaucracy and communications stalls that bedevil most organizations.
This fits from my own experience in helping people solve problems. If you simplify the questions and make them into familiar ones, everyone soon finds powerful alternatives drawn from a lifetime of experiences and memories. Keep things broad, abstract, and vague, and peoples' eyes glaze over while they struggle for a place to begin.
After you have finished reading and applying this book, I suggest that you share your new learning with those you see around you who are the most stressed out. By helping them gain relaxed control of their activities, you will also be able to enjoy the benefits of their increased effectiveness in supporting your own efforts.
May you always get the tools you need, understand what to do next, and move swiftly through timely actions!
This is a book you "DO" not just read. Be prepared to work when you start out, but when the initial work is done, that's when the fun begins.
I cleaned my inbox and email box of 300 items in less than 15 minutes, filtering out the junk, the things that needed immediate attention, and the "someday maybe" things (like buying my first Harley).
This works for my personal life too. No more missed anniversaries, birthdays, phone calls, errands, etc.
Do you ever think about work projects at home? Do you ever think about home projects when you're at the office? Ever worry about that phone call you need to make or that errand you need to run? Forget it! Get the book. It's awesome. Get the book - period. If you don't, you deserve your stress.
However, it has two serious problems. First, it is presented as a complete organizational system, when it is not. Second, it encourages a seat-of-the-pants, ju-jitsu approach to daily life that can be very counterproductive and exhausting.
But, first the good. For me, the main gist of the book is this: if you try to keep your life organized in your head, you will not be maximally productive. You'll be using an inordinate amount of energy trying to mentally keep track of all your "to do" items. "Getting Things Done" shows you how to get all of these out of your head and into a system so you can concentrate on the present and attack each action item one at a time. This is good stuff.
But, now, the bad (or not so good):
The first problem is "Getting Things Done" provides no guidance on how to prioritize your projects or sub-projects. It does not help you decide what to do next. Instead, it helps you produce very organized, contextual lists of next actions to take. To decide WHICH next action to take, it just recommends that you use your instincts. For many people, one of the big problems (and often THE big problem) with their organization is DECIDING which projects to work on when; and GTD is of absolutely no help. This is not an insurmountable problem as there are books ("Time Power" by Charles Hobbs) and computer programs (Life Balance from Llamagraphics), that can help you prioritize.
The second problem, and perhaps considerably more grave, is "Getting Things Done" encourages you not to plan. It encourages you to simply decide in each moment what to do (based on the excellent lists and reminder system you've created). It encourages a seat-of-the-pants, ju-jitsu approach to daily life. And this is a BIG problem for a lot of people, myself included. If you have trouble prioritizing what to do next in your day and life, then having to make those prioritizing decisions 200 times a day, as GTD encourages, is incredibly draining. GTD preaches that you live life efficiently, but that there's no need for habits or rituals. This is a contradiction and truly counter-productive.
If there's one common thread that you get from reading the biographies of incredibly productive and successful people, it's this: they have very regular, structured, and beneficial habits and rituals. They do not "wing it." "Getting Things Done" could be retitled "Winging It In the Most Efficient Manner Possible." There are successful people, of course, who do "wing it," but the vast majority of successful people are habit- and ritual- driven. That goes especially for work habits (and often for sleep habits, exercise habits, eating habits, and social habits, too). For a great example of this, read "On Writing," by Stephen King.
If you read "Getting Things Done," seriously consider supplementing it with "The Power of Full Engagement," by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz -- especially chapter 10, "The Power of Positive Rituals." It explains very convincingly why purposefully "winging it," even in the most efficient manner, will not work and could be your undoing.
"Getting Things Done" is still a great book, but it does not stand well, on its own, as a system for organizing your life. It needs supplementation.