Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free ProductivityGetting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book I’ve read at least 4 times, and honestly, every time has been totally worthwhile. I’d recommend this to anyone who feels there is any way at all that they could possibly get more out of their life than they currently are.

Getting Things Done (GTD) is the definitive time management book. There are tons of other options out there, but this is definitely the place to start. Even if you don’t feel every part of the GTD system is “for you,” there are still going to be quite a few “nuggets” that will make it well worth your time. Most people will be able to immediately implement some part of the whole system, which focuses on utilizing lists to unload your brain of all the things you should be doing. Nuggets like “the 2 minute rule” and “what is the next step?” can absolutely change your life. Even teenagers would benefit from the knowledge here.

The writing style is very easy to follow and feels very “friendly.” No business knowledge or other specialized knowledge is necessary. This also isn’t just for “big business executives” in any way. I honestly feel everyone could significantly improve things in their life from the busiest of doctors to school-age teenagers during their summer months. It can be applied to business and personal life (and should be!) equally well.

It all comes down to a few questions:

1. What do you really want to achieve on a short-term, medium-term, and long-term basis?
2. What things need to happen to help you achieve those things?
3. Is what you’re doing right now getting you closer to achieving your goals?
4. What is the very next step you need to take to make progress?
And then make sure you write these things down in a way that you frequently review it, add to it, mark off your steps.

Personally, this is a book I return to every few years and I try to read it early in the year. It helps with not just goal accomplishment, but also with reminders to look not just at the here and now, but also looking at your 1 year, 3 year and even longer-term trajectory of your life. There is so much high quality content in this, and these few things are just the tip of the iceberg. But if literally any of this sounds like something you could benefit from, it’s time to pick up this book and make it the next item on your “To Read” list.

Tip:

When you sit down to read it, you’ll want to have some way to write down your thoughts. A few colored highlighters will probably come in handy as well. Trying to implement the whole thing in one fell swoop will require that a person set aside quite a bit of time, probably on the order of a week, to brain dump all the things that have been wandering around in the back of your mind and then start the process of sorting through them all

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