Getting Things Done® http://gettingthingsdone.com Tue, 21 Feb 2017 23:04:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6 Episode #27: GTD Keys to Clarifying http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/02/episode-27-gtd-keys-to-clarifying/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/02/episode-27-gtd-keys-to-clarifying/#respond Tue, 21 Feb 2017 18:30:12 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=15733 In this speech excerpt, David Allen shares the GTD® keys to clarifying your work.

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GTD and Attention http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/02/gtd-and-attention/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/02/gtd-and-attention/#respond Tue, 14 Feb 2017 20:53:37 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=15723 GTD

 

 

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Managing your projects with GTD http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/02/managing-your-projects-with-gtd/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/02/managing-your-projects-with-gtd/#respond Thu, 09 Feb 2017 17:40:55 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=15718 How well are you managing your projects? In the GTD Managing Projects audio program, David Allen and his senior staff share the GTD best practices and models for seamlessly managing your projects. Bonus materials include a rich set of PDF handouts and the GTD Live recording of David leading you through the Natural Planning Model®. 5 hours of audio. MP3 or CD Set.

managing projects

 

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Why things don’t get done http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/02/why-things-dont-get-done/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/02/why-things-dont-get-done/#comments Tue, 07 Feb 2017 21:55:48 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=15713 In the work I do, I often see a dark side to organizations and relationships that have collaboration and being nice as values. It can easily become a smokescreen behind which people avoid accountability and clarity.

I have noticed a tendency for people to spend a lot of time in high-energy meetings and discussions, and a high resistance at the end of those meetings and discussions to clarify—“Do I have the next action on this, or do you?” or “Whose is this now, to make happen?”

This lack of declaring an owner for the action, outcome, or area of focus is why at home many couples and families have huge stacks of papers and “stuff” on the counter between the kitchen and the dining room, by the phone, and in the front hall, and why a lot of personal projects are “stuck.” No in-trays. No immediate physical, visible distinction as to who actually has the next action or decision about this bill, this brochure, this note from the teacher. Everybody sort of feels responsible for it, but no one really owns it. So it doesn’t happen.

It is fascinating that whenever two or more are responsible for something, usually nobody is.

Managers, executives, and parents would all love to have staff and their teams and their families all work together in harmonious flow toward the group goals, with everyone keeping their eye on everything that needs doing, and making sure it gets done. But if responsibility has not been allocated to one person for a particular outcome, the responsibility travels up the ladder until it lands with the one someone who will have to make it happen. That is usually why small companies moving from mom-pop to senior team management often have stress at the top—learning how to effectively chunk off definable areas of responsibility so the owners can stop getting nickel-and-dime’d with details from below.

The exception to this is the rare occasion when literally all the players are equally and independently committed to making something happen, whether anyone else does it or not. This I’ll-do-it-if-it-needs-doing-and-nobody-else-is-doing-it mentality is seen from time to time in small combat teams, highly charged athletic teams, and occasionally project teams super-galvanized to dynamic successful (or survival) outcomes.

There needs to be at least one person who has accountability by assignation or default for bringing something to the finish line. Being nice and not deciding who it is, is not really nice at all.

–David Allen

This essay appeared in David Allen’s Productive Living Newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

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Getting started with context lists http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/02/getting-started-with-context-lists/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/02/getting-started-with-context-lists/#respond Wed, 01 Feb 2017 19:14:20 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=15709 Q. What do you recommend for lists if I am just starting with GTD?

A. One of the biggest challenges that I see when people are setting up their lists initial in their GTD system is they are not really sure what contexts to use. Typically what I recommend is starting with really basic contexts; Agendas to hold the parking lot of things to talk about with particular people in our lives, Errands to have a list of stuff to do when you’re out and about, At Home for actions specifically to do when you’re in your home, At WorkWaiting For to hold those things you are waiting for from someone or something else and Someday/Maybe for possible future actions or projects.

Sometimes what we do with that At Work list is we break it down into at Calls, At Computer, At Reading, At Writing–things like that. People can sometimes get a little overwhelmed with all of those lists in the beginning, so I often have them start with just the really basic context lists, basic setups, and then we can tweak it and fine tune it from there.

–Julie Ireland, Certified Coach

 

 

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Episode #26 – Black Belt GTD http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/01/episode-26-black-belt-gtd/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/01/episode-26-black-belt-gtd/#comments Sat, 28 Jan 2017 21:49:58 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=15699 What are your biggest GTD® improvement opportunities? Do you ever fall off the wagon? Join David Allen & Meg Edwards as they discuss what “Black Belt” GTD is, some of its biggest hurdles, and how you can overcome them.

 

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Do you have problems or projects? http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/01/do-you-have-problems-or-projects/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/01/do-you-have-problems-or-projects/#respond Fri, 20 Jan 2017 16:54:41 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=15675 Have you got any “stuff” that needs clarifying as a “project” for your Projects list? Anything that you’d call a “problem” right now that should be labeled a project, with a next action? Think about situations and circumstances in your world this week. Anything emerge that still needs resolution or clarification? Make it a project to “Clarify…” or “Resolve…” You don’t have to know how to clarify or resolve it to call it a project. Just focus on the outcome and get an action to move toward it. –David Allen

For more support on your projects, the Level 2: Projects & Priorities course takes a deep dive into capturing and clarifying your projects. Our Managing Projects audio set is also a great resource for learning about this critical component to GTD.

 

 

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Processing email with GTD http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/01/processing-email-with-gtd/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/01/processing-email-with-gtd/#respond Thu, 19 Jan 2017 01:42:04 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=15667 The more facile you get with the GTD models, the faster you’ll be at processing your input, such as new email. We’ve found it takes most people about 30 seconds to process something. That means making a clear decision about what “done” (the outcome) and the “doing” (the next action) looks like. No software will do that thinking for you—but the GTD models will certainly assist you in improving your efficiency, productivity, and speed in processing.
–David Allen

 

 

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Get your life back to widget-cranking! http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/01/get-your-life-back-to-widget-cranking/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/01/get-your-life-back-to-widget-cranking/#comments Thu, 12 Jan 2017 01:21:02 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=15636 Oh, for a widget-cranking job again! Ever have gigs like that, where all you did was crank widgets? Like a summer job in college? Remember how bored you were, and how psychologically healthy it was? All you had to do was show up. Every morning there was a big pile of un-cranked widgets, right next to the widget-cranking machine (with your name on it). It was not confusing—what to do, or how to spend your day. And what did you get to experience all day? Completion! Crank…widget! Crank…widget!

5 o’clock—outa here! How many thoughts of widgets or widget cranking did you have until the next day? Zero. And how much energy did you have to boogie (and other things) that night? Tons. Because you were young? No, because you were cranking widgets.

Those jobs are still available, though not nearly as many. But there’s a problem. You want what kind of car? What kind of home? What kind of school for your kids? Oops. You’ve probably gotten used to a lifestyle for which the value you add for cranking widgets won’t pay. Now you’ve got to manage widget crankers, and three are a real pain. You’ve got to design systems for widget cranking, and you’ve got computers that won’t talk to each other. Or you’re supposed to be growing a senior team that will help you think about whether widgets are what you need to be cranking three years from now or not. Not so easy.

You need to get those much more complex and ambiguous jobs back to the widgets you need to crank about them. No matter how sophisticated the work, the action steps that make it happen always boil down to: Email Bill. Draft ideas on the strategic plan. Call Susan. Buy paint. Look up consultants on the Web. We just have to think a little bit, to define and list those specific actions, and then we can get back to the free, fun, and clear kind of energy we had with the more mindless jobs that kept us so healthy in our heads.

My life and work are back to the cranking widgets level. It’s great. For the most part, I really think about all my stuff once a week in the GTD Weekly Review®, to identify the right widgets to crank. I use that time to be intelligent enough to define the things to do when I’m not so smart. The rest of the time I get to be sort of dumb and happy, doing smart things.

–David Allen

This essay appeared in David Allen’s Productive Living Newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

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Episode #25 – Making Change Stick http://gettingthingsdone.com/2016/12/episode-25-making-change-stick/ http://gettingthingsdone.com/2016/12/episode-25-making-change-stick/#comments Sat, 31 Dec 2016 18:55:56 +0000 http://gettingthingsdone.com/?p=15601 David Allen discusses the power and practical usage of focus and vision. Learn the keys to creating and maintaining successful habit change by utilizing visioning, goal setting, and clarifying positive outcomes.

 

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