The lowdown: Learn the keys to stress-free productivity with this Getting Things Done Summary.
It’s not often a book is so popular that it becomes an acronym, but GTD has done exactly that.
The famous book deals with the feeling you get when your to-do list is getting longer and longer to the point where one more thing will make you scream.
Or, as we like to call them…. weekdays.
The GTD approach has a simple principles that clear your brain up to solve problems and keep improving.
The main lessons from Getting Things Done that relate to productivity are:
- Your brain sucks at remembering things
- Instead of daily to-do lists, use calendars and next action lists
- Keep a ‘someday’ list
Lesson One: Your brain sucks at remembering things
When we’re busy, we often try to combat it by taking on everything at the same time.
There are a problems with this.
Mainly, we sabotage our brain’s capacity to think by cluttering it with a load of information.
We fill our brain with all of these unsolved problems, hoping to work on one at a time.
However, what we really do is open all of these loops in our brain. This piling of information gets your mind working in a range of different directions at the same time.
Have you ever been working and had the odd “shit, remember to pay the gas bill” thought? That is your brain trying to filter out all of the open loops.
Luckily, there is a 5-step method to fixing this clutter in-between your ears:
- Capture your thoughts instead of trying to remember them
- Clarify your items
- Organize the outcomes into a structure of lists
- Reflect on what is important to you
- Engage in your chosen task
Lesson Two: Instead of daily to-do lists, use calendars and next action lists
I have always looked to create a daily to-do list.
However, my success is often varied at best, and I’m sure that I’m not alone.
The reason is, that we have absolutely no idea how much we can (and can’t) do in a single day.
So, instead of battling away on shitty daily lists, organize your tasks with calendars and next action lists.
Your calendar should be your go-to for all of your scheduled events. Meetings, work hours, phone calls, family time, etc…
The more you schedule your time, the easier it will be to create time to complete your action items.
From there, you should look to order your micro-tasks in order of importance. These small items should only take a few minutes to do and can be done anywhere.
Actions like paying bills via phone and replying to emails can be done anywhere on your smart phone. So, instead of doing them at work, perhaps you can do them in line at the supermarket.
Lesson Three: Keep a ‘someday’ list
What about all of those tasks that you want to do, but aren’t as immediate as paying a gas bill, or attending a meeting?
Well, it is important to keep a list of the things you eventually want to achieve.
This ‘someday’ list is important as you can get to these tasks when the time is right.
However, you more than likely won’t start them if you don’t list them.
You’ll be surprised how many of these ‘someday’ tasks become a reality one day.
My Personal Takeaway
I need a full system like this!
While it does seem quite intensive at first, I am sure that once you’re familiar with all the terms and processes, it is easy to use.
My scheduling and productivity is a mish-mash of different strategies and techniques, and focusing in on one method can’t hurt.
Put it into action
Start to write down your to-do lists and your thoughts. That will get the ball rolling and make sure that you don’t forget anything.
You should consider buying this book if…
Anyone who is struggling to get through their daily to-do lists. This works well for side-hustlers as they often are juggling multiple calendars together at once.
🤙 Your Next Step… 🤙
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