Subscribe or Download our GTD Podcasts
Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
Outcome and Action Thinking
A bit of a repeat if you’ve listened to my other tips, but one I just wanted to reinforce. Outcome and Action Thinking.
Outcome and action are the two core elements of productivity. What do I want to produce or experience? And how do I need to allocate or reallocate my resources to make it happen? So that kind of thinking, as simple as that sounds, is something that we need to train ourselves to do. It’s really a cognitive muscle you need to work with. So anything that’s got your attention, anything that’s either worrying or bothering you. That’s the time to practice this sort of cognitive muscle. To use it.
What would you like to have true? Instead of whatever is currently true. And how do you need to reallocate, or allocate your attention, your activities, your resources, to make that happen?
For those of you asking “What’s that huge pile of books back there David?” Frankly, the outcome was, I had a bunch of archives of all of the translated versions of my book in the different languages that we were going to throw away when we moved to Amsterdam. We said, nah we should probably keep at least one copy of each, but we live in an apartment. So, a small space. Outcome… How do you do that? That’s a great bookshelf you can get from a company called Design Within Reach in the U.S. that actually works, where you can stack all those things up and they don’t fall over. Anyway, so that’s what that is.
So, outcome and action thinking. I just challenge you, invite you, to apply that somewhere that you might be not thinking you ought to apply that, or that you haven’t done that yet. So, what’s the outcome you’re after? What’s the action step you need to take to move toward it?
In many many cases now, that’s become something that’s just habit in my life given what I teach and what I’ve explored over all these years about how to keep your head clear. So hopefully this will be just a reminder for those of you already familiar with that idea. To apply it wherever you need to apply it now.