Getting Things Done: How To Manage Your Workflow

When it comes to managing our work and personal lives, it can be a real challenge. It has been found that the common ABC ordered priority list doesn’t really work too well because in this rapidly changing world that we all live in, priorities can change by the hour… or even faster. This necessitates a constantly revised list of tasks for the day, which eventually breaks down.

David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity was one of the first to come up with a whole new way of dealing with managing workflow.

Allen has since given numerous speeches about his system that has become known simply as “GTD”. He also leads seminars, two days on-site workflow training, and other teaching events. He has since expanded out his company to add additional trainers who conduct training virtually via GoToMeeting video-conferencing, support conference calls, and so on.

The basic premise behind GTD is that one cannot be truly creative and productive if everything you need to get done is bouncing around in your head. This tends to be chaotic, with haphazard, unpredictable results that overemphasize some areas whilst ignoring other areas. This is because the human brain gets overwhelmed with too many things to remember and is less than successful at prioritizing.

The GTD approach instead calls for taking every single “open loop,” all outstanding to do tasks and listing them out. With all ideas collected and organized, it becomes much easier to review your list as often as you need to, to decide which task to tackle next.

For tasks that are date specific, these should be added to a calendar instead that you review daily.

Many of the tasks will get categorized to confirm whether they are a “next action” to be actioned next, a “someday/maybe” for ideas that you are not sure you wish to go ahead with, “waiting for” for tasks where you are waiting on others before you can proceed. There is also a “tickler file” that has a section for each date over the coming 30 days which acts as a re-prompt for ideas to revisit for thought later.

The reason GTD has been so well received in speeches, presentations and teaching sessions has been its ease of application. Getting everything out of your head and down on paper has a cathartic effect. When every single thing in your head has been put on a list, you are free to think more clearly about what needs to be done next.

The Weekly Review is a process whereby someone using GTD will then run through their lists of outstanding tasks and review whether these need to be given a higher priority, added to the calendar, delegated, or trashed altogether. This weekly process helps ensure that tasks do not fall through the cracks and just keep not getting done.

David Allen is extremely good at presenting the GTD concepts to an audience. He has honed his explanations and delivery to be understood by the whole audience. This no doubt comes from years of working with the concepts, developing them out for his own use and then for a broader user base.

Author Bio

Pete is a graduate with a degree in political science from a leading university in Europe. He occasionally is invited to give motivational speech to college graduates. He greatly admires Tom Otoole for his guest speaking skills and found this website where you can get information on how to invite such prolific speakers for special even.

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