Getting Things Done [2]

GTD has 3 key principles (text extracted from the David Allen’s book):

1. Don’t leave anything in your head or in unprocessed stacks
If your system contains only partial information, it won’t give you the payoff of a system, and you won’t be motivated to maintain it. (E.g. if your “Calls” list doesn’t have every single call you need to make, your head will still have to keep remembering and reminding about the rest of them, and trying to keep only some of them in Outlook will be too much work for the minimal benefit you’ll gain.)

2. Decide the next physical action
If you don’t determine the very next action needed on a task or project or an e-mail, you won’t know where to park the reminder, and the decision-still-needed pressure will cause you to avoid engaging with your lists. (E.g. “Set meeting with the team” needs to be further delineated as “Call Ana Maria to set meeting” on your Calls list, or “E-mail team for best meeting dates” on your At Computer list, or “Talk to Jessie re: team meeting” on your Agendas for Assistant list.)

3. Review and update the contents of the whole system regularly
A system is only as trustworthy and beneficial as it is current, consistent, and complete. The more the system can be kept up to date as you go along, the more “alive” and supportive it will be to allow your mind to focus on the work at hand. The world will probably come at you faster than you can keep it totally processed and organized, but you can’t let it slip too long before you catch up. The reminders of projects and actionable items must be cleaned up and refreshed at least every seven days.

Your ability to generate power is directly proportional to your ability to relax — David Allen



  1. Arturo de la Fuente

    It looks interesting. I’ll buy the book and decide if it is worth the stretch. The book is dirty cheap in Amazon.

  2. For implementing GTD you can use this web-based application:

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote, and also comes with mobile-web version, and Android and iPhone apps.

  3. Francis Cordon

    Thanks for this post, it helps in my constant quest for better time management. Here is the core of it: when you are committed to delivering ‘excellence’ to the market it is of the utmost importance to manage time wisely and efficiently. Why? Because distractions creep and lurk everywhere! Emails and calls can steal our work day away, but, did we focus on what matters?
    So in a nutshell: how do we ensure we are spending time in what will make a difference? And without neglecting our daily duties at that. Daunting task indeed! So I welcome all the help I can get! :)

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