Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity ペーパーバック – 2003/1/1
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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
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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.
What should be put down in this structure are immediate things that are actionable, what one can do next -- as opposed to generalities, which require more thought. A key aspect of course is breaking down a larger task into these smaller actions.
Allen describes a structure of immediate lists to look at, calendars, todo lists, reference lists and so forth. Other bins include an incubator list for long term tasks and a “waiting for” list, which has tasks that are pending from other people to be completed. This seems like a sensible arrangement but I suspect that other people will have somewhat different structures. My impression is that the important idea is not letting immediate short term distractions cloud one's focus on a task, and tackling things sequentially in little chunks.
Allen talks a lot about avoiding infinite loops. He mentions that a long term plan is not something that goes on someone's tickler list but rather something that is broken up into many actions as opposed to only a few. Practically he discusses how in meetings, before the end of the meeting one really should bring up the question of what is the immediate next action that is a follow up from the meeting rather than just talking in generalities.
In the book Allen talks about the importance of having few distractions to really concentrate on the task at hand and one way of achieving fewer distractions is by designing a system to capture all of one's daily input into a well-designed inbox format. He talks about how if this is well done one does not have the guilt of constantly thinking about things that have to be done nor does one have to have the mental load of things constantly popping into one's mind -- given ones assurance that everything is captured in this universal inbox. He contrasts a company that has a way of capturing day-to-day tasks as smoothly running without people being interrupted with one that is constantly crisis and event driven.
I read this book before the new 2015 edition came out. This new edition of course needs to be much updated for the new digital reality. The 2001 edition seems quaint, with its discussion of the correct file folders to use and how to organize things correctly in a close by file cabinet. It makes reference to a Palm Pilot but this seems almost prehistoric in today's age.
That said, I really felt that the lessons in the original 2001 edition were quite timeless. One could easily see how they morphed into using email programs such as Gmail and perhaps even influenced the design of these systems. In fact, it is fascinating trying to connect a lot of the concepts in this book with the modern world of cloud computing, gmail and various online task sites. Many of these online productivity tools mimic very closely a lot of the ideas in Allen's work, particularly gmail's immediate function for archiving things from your inbox and putting various tags and stars on them. It fits very well into a system of de-cluttering your inbox quickly but then coming back to selected bits.
Overall I would highly recommend this book, I think it is a good read.
If you're tired of making to do lists and never finishing them, this book will tell you pretty much every mistake you've made and are going to make if you keep your pattern. Learning to use Allen's system is worth it but very difficult. If you wish you were more efficient, this book will give you a system that you can base yours from. If you wish... stop wishing and get this book.
The basic principle is straightforward – write down everything you want to do – or might want to do – and keep those lists orderly and accessible. Get everything out of your mind and into this system and clear your mind, which, in theory, should make you more peaceful and consequently more effective. Your increased effectiveness, in theory, should make you more peaceful. And so on.
Also, to become more peaceful and clear, get EVERYTHING off your desk. Unclutter your office, too.
You might wonder why an entire book would be necessary to learn how to do this. You would be right to wonder, as most of the book is, in fact, an explanation of why it is better to not be anxious and what happens when your office and life are messy. Then much of that is restated in different words.
Nonetheless, I encourage you to buy the book, because it will increase your commitment to using a system, perhaps this one. After all, you have known since you were 14 years old that is it better to be organized, and it may be possible that you haven’t lived that way.
Here are the basics from the book:
Get every possible item off of your desk and out of the pile on your windowsill and from the top of the filing cabinet. Everything.
Write down every single possible thing you might ever want to do, see, look up, accomplish, plant, complete, give away, or build. Here is the key principle of the entire book and the entire system (it may actually be the key to life, the thing the guru on the top of the mountain should tell you): FOR EVERY SINGLE THING YOU THINK YOU NEED TO DO, DEFINE THE NEXT SPECIFIC, SINGLE ACTION STEP NEEDED TO ACCOMPLISH IT.
Not “buy a car.” Not “look at Consumer Reports for car reviews.” Not “keep your eyes open for good looking cars.” Instead, “go online to Consumer Reports to learn which issue has the latest car reviews.” That’s it. If you can do that, everything else is easy.
Write each of these next action steps on one of these lists: next action, projects, calendar, waiting for, someday/maybe. Except, if the item would take less than two minutes, do it right now.
Put everything in an accessible and obvious place. (Rule of Jenny: Everything has a place, and it’s not “out.”) Buy a label maker and label your files at the moment you create them. On your desk, you are free to keep only these things: supplies, equipment, decoration, and reference. That’s it.
Go through your lists regularly. Weekly reviews work for most people. Monthly may be better for you.
To recap, for every single thing you think you need to do, define the next specific, single action step needed to accomplish it. The rest is icing on the cake.
Buy the book. But feel free to skip over any sentence, paragraph, or chapter that seems to be explaining the benefits of getting organized. There are many such paragraphs.
If you want to save some time, here are the most valuable sections (page numbers from the Penguin paperback edition of 2001):
The Principle: Dealing Effectively with Internal Commitments (p. 12-18)
The Major Change: Getting It All Out of Your Head (p. 21-23)
Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Stages of Mastering Workflow (p. 24-53)
Brainstorming (p. 70-74)
Getting Started: Setting Up the Time, Space, and Tools (p. 85-103)
Processing: Getting "In" to Empty (p. 119-137)
Organizing: Setting Up the Right Buckets (p. 138-180)
As I noted, I have been using some of these tools since 1985, when I attended a David Allen time management seminar. The tools have been helpful. I am committed to getting the rest of my time organized, thanks, in large part, to this book. I hope it helps you.