Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership
How GTD Has Rocked My World
By Evan Nehring
My first connection with David Allen came through an article in the Cutting Edge church planting magazine. The interviewee was passionate enough about how Allen’s Getting Things Done system had changed his life that I ordered a copy of the book for myself. My world will never be the same.
I’ve always been pretty organized, at least since approaching adulthood. David Allen, though, has captured the natural rhythms of work and efficiency in a way no one else has. Period. There’s a reason why he’s considered the world’s leading voice in executive coaching and time management.
David would say that it’s not really time management at all. Everyone gets the same amount of time. What we really need is self-management. Yes, self-management. Does that strike your ears the way it strikes mine? The fruit of the Spirit is…self-control.
The best way to get started with GTD is to purchase the book, Getting Things Done. David lays out the basics of getting started with a trusted system. In a nutshell, though, here’s what’s involved.
- Write it down. Get everything out of your head and get it down on paper or in your computer. (Don’t take action on anything yet unless you can complete it in two minutes.) Your mind was made for much higher purposes than fretting over lists of details. Get it all out!
- Choose your next actions. For every thought or project you captured in step one, identify the very next thing you need to do to move that project forward.
- Organize your projects and actions. Put them onto lists on paper or in your computer.
- Look at it once a week. Every seven days, read over your lists and decide what you need to focus on. If you have any new projects without next actions, decide on those to keep you moving forward.
- Do it! You now have a trusted system. As you stick with the steps of GTD, your mind will relax and you can focus on accomplishing what’s most important for your life.
 David Allen. Productive Living email. “Time Management Is Not the Issue.” June 22, 2011, David Allen Company.