Best practices for Getting Things Done

Many people have asked for a summary of the GTD best practices that we share in our Keys to Getting Things Done webinars. Here they are!

Collect
Pay attention to what is grabbing your attention
Empty your head

Process
Make decisions when things show up, not when they blow up

Organize
Sort your inventory into trusted buckets with “clean edges”

Review
Keep current and “ahead of the game”

Doing
Notice how you choose to spend your time (Threefold Nature of Work)
Make trusted choices

What stands out for you as your biggest improvement opportunity in any of those areas?



6 Responses to “Best practices for Getting Things Done”

  1. Ken M says:

    Review is by largest area of improvement. With such a busy work week, it is hard to take time at the end of it to review and set myself up for success for the next week.

  2. Vicky says:

    Agree with Ken . . . for me review is area of improvement. It’s what I put to last, but when I do it, I realize it makes me feel so much better.

  3. Eugene says:

    “Make decisions when things show up, not when they blow up” – means within 48 hours or right there when got some input?

  4. Jason Ansley says:

    Overall I do good with these as a whole process…but I struggle by letting each stage pileup. I suppose it is the techy in me, desiring to batch steps and processes…however sometimes you just have to go 1 2 3 4 instead of 111 222 333 444 :)
    Jason Ansley
    ansleyRDgroup

  5. Kelly Forrister says:

    Hi Eugene:

    re: “Make decisions when things show up, not when they blow up” – means within 48 hours or right there when got some input?

    It means processing to zero regularly (at least weekly in your Weekly Review,) but it also means deciding when it first shows up versus delaying deciding until it’s too late or has further consequence. For example, that can show up for people by opening an email, looking at it, closing it, even marking it unread again and leaving it in the inbox. Then it continues to pull on their attention. Leave it unprocessed and undecided long enough and it can have further consequence of as a missed opportunity, or the sender coming to interrupt the person to say, “Did you get my email??”, or it “blows up” and causes some bigger issue.

  6. Ed says:

    “Make decisions when things show up, not when they blow up”

    I have a little different take. When things first show up I am just collecting. I try to process the days collected things each night and try and do a thorough review once a week on the weekends. I don’t always makea decision when things first show up. I just put them on my collection list or @Action email folder or send myself an email with a thought, idea, task or goal. It is in the process stage that I make decisions about it like what list, context, delegate, trash or whatever.

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