What is GTD®?

Someone recently asked David Allen to share the underlying principle to Getting Things Done® (GTD®). He said:

There are several, but the main ones are:

1. CLEAR YOUR HEAD – Your head is for having ideas, not for holding them. In other words, build and maintain an “external brain” to hold all your significant reminders of commitments and creative thinking. You need mental and emotional space to be present in the moment, to be optimally creative, strategic, innovative, and ready for change and surprise.

2. THINK AND DECIDE – Whatever has your attention needs specific thinking and decision-making in order to put it onto “cruise control” and to be appropriately engaged with it.

3. KEEP A TRUSTED SYSTEM – You need a trusted system to maintain a current inventory of your commitments and intentions, reflected upon regularly.

Which of these has made the biggest difference for you? Where are your opportunities for improvement?


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  1. Clear Your Head is the big one for me, though I need to up my Think And Decide AND ACT game. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Definitely, Clear Your Head.
    By following GTD system I’m able to sleep more comfortable and faster, without waking up at 2 am remember something I had been forgetting in the back of my mind.

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