Sunday, October 11, 2009

Review of Getting Things Done by David Allen

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book ofers the most direct and structured approach to time and stress management that I have ever encountered. It offers a system for managing actions through lists that can be impemented on everything from paper to a PDA. I like the way the book provides a structure for thinking about what you do. In my opinion, the closer I come to a literal implementation of the system, the better it works.

I like the idea of getting everything you have to do, everything you should do, and everything you might want to do into an external trusted system. The framework for this external system is implementation free -- how you keep and manage the lists does not matter. The approach makes a good case for tracking physical actions rather than vague "to do" items

A key idea I like is recording phyciscal actions by context, where context covers the location or equipment needed to perform the action. Calls, at computer, at home, at office and waiting for are good examples. This structure eliminates the need to consider an action when context is inappropriate. For example. a list of calls to make is unimportant if I no phone is available.

Years after my first cotnact with the book, I still apply its ideas many times every day.

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