Author : David Allen
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About the Author :
David Allen has been called one of the world’s most influential thinkers on productivity and has been a keynote speaker and facilitator for such organizations as New York Life, the World Bank, the Ford Foundation, L.L. Bean, and the U.S. Navy, and he conducts workshops for individuals and organizations across the country.
Summary of Getting Things Done
- Anxiety is caused by a lack of control, organization, preparation, and action. . —David
- Time is the quality of nature that keeps events from happening all at once. Lately it doesn’t seem to be working. —Anonymous
- Author Says there is no reason ever to have the same thought twice, unless you like having that thought.
Getting things done summary
Author says The small changes required—changes in the way you clarify and organize all the things that command your attention—could represent a significant shift in how you approach some key aspects of your day-to-day work.
We can never really be prepared for that which is wholly new. We have to adjust , • ourselves, and every radical adjustment is a crisis in self esteem: we undergo a test, we have to prove ourselves. It needs subordinate self-confidence to face drastic change without inner trembling. —Eric Hoffer
The Basic Requirements for Managing Commitments
Author Says if it’s on your mind, your mind isn’t clear. Anything you consider unfinished in any way must be captured in a trusted system outside your mind, or what I call a collection bucket, that you know you’ll come back to regularly and sort through.
You must clarify exactly what your commitment is and decide what you have to do, if anything, to make progress toward fulfilling it.
“In knowledge work . . . the task is not given; it has to be determined. ‘What are the expected results from this work?’ is . . . the key question in making knowledge workers productive. – Peter Drucker
This constant, unproductive preoccupation with all the things we have to do is the single largest consumer of time and energy. —Kerry
Your Mind Doesn’t Have a Mind of Its Own
Author Says a portion of your mind is really kind of stupid, in an interesting way. If it had any innate intelligence, it would remind you of the things you needed to do only when you could do something about them.
Author Says Between the time you woke up today and now, did you think of anything you needed to do that you still haven’t done? Have you had that thought more than once? Why? It’s a waste of time and energy to keep thinking about something that you make no progress on.
It seems that most people let their minds run a lot of the show, especially where the too-much-to-do syndrome is concerned.
Author Says you can train yourself, almost like an athlete, to be faster, more responsive, more proactive, and more focused in knowledge work. You can think more effectively and manage the results with more ease and control.
You can minimize the loose ends across the whole spectrum of your work life and personal life and get a lot more done with less effort.
What you do with your time, what you do with information, and what you do with your body and your focus relative to your priorities—those are the real options to which you must allocate your limited resources.
Most people have dozens of things that they need to do to make progress on many fronts, but they don’t yet know what they are.
Author Says Clarifying things on the front end, when they first appear on the radar, rather than on the back end, after trouble has developed, allows people to reap the benefits of managing action.
Things rarely get stuck because of lack of time. They get stuck because the doing of them has not been defined.
Getting It All Out of Your Head
Author Says there is no reason ever to have the same thought twice, unless you like having that thought.
Your mind will keep working on anything that’s still in that undecided state. But there’s a limit to how much unresolved “stuff” it can contain before it blows a fuse.
Author Says the big problem is that your mind keeps reminding you of things when you can’t do anything about them. It has no sense of past or future. That means that as soon as you tell yourself that you need to do something, and store it in your RAM.
It is hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head. —Sally Kempton
The knowledge that we consider knowledge proves itself in action. What we now mean by knowledge is information in action, information focused on results. —Peter F. Drucker
It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do. —Elbert
Author Says implementing standard tools for capturing ideas and input will become more and more critical as your life and work become more sophisticated. As you proceed in your career, for instance, you’ll probably notice that your best ideas about work will not come to you at work.
You’ve got to think about the big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction. —Alvin Toffler
Author Says a great way to think about what your principles are is to complete this sentence: “I would give others totally free rein to do this as long as they. . .”—what? What policies, stated or unstated, will apply to your group’s activities?
Another great reason for focusing on principles is the clarity and reference point they provide for positive conduct. How do you want or need to work with others on this project to ensure its success?
Getting Things Done Quotes
Author Says whereas purpose provides the juice and the direction, principles define the parameters of action and the criteria for excellence of behavior.
In order most productively to access the conscious and unconscious resources available to you, you must have a clear picture in your mind of what success would look, sound, and feel like.
Author Says When you focus on something—the vacation you’re going to take, the meeting you’re about to go into, the product you want to launch—that focus instantly creates ideas and thought patterns you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, – make them. —George Bernard Shaw
Thanks For Reading Getting Things Done.