Productive Living
David Allen

What a year! I don't know if your year was anything like mine, but it sure seemed like the faucet was on full-blast with more thought-provoking and change-producing input that I can ever recall. All good of course, in the grand scheme of things! A significant event for us this year was the GTD® Summit—our global event to bring thought-leaders together to discuss how GTD is changing the way the world works. My Making It All Work book also hit the shelves, and seemed to fill in the gaps for many on the priorities piece of GTD. It's out in paperback this week.

I love this time of year for a reflection on what passed and what's to come. The theme for my Food for Thought and Tips & Tricks is about doing a review. I hope you find this to be a useful practice.

I wish you a wonderful holiday season.

All the best,



What have you done lately?

I mean, what have you actually finished, completed, and accomplished? If you haven't made a list in the last year, I would highly recommend that you take a few minutes and capture that.

It has always intrigued me how much a less-than-conscious part of me can still have energy wrapped up around activities and projects, until I acknowledge that they're done, to myself. Kathryn and I have made an annual exercise, at year-end, of making the list of major completions and accomplishments. We've even been saving that list in a Lotus Notes database for the last few years. It's really quite a healthy, cleansing completion in itself. It includes everything that we can think of—from projects like launching a new product, to adding new staff, to trees planted, to new places visited, to family deaths handled, to old business completed, to new skills and tricks learned.

I've noticed that there is likely some resistance to doing that process as well. I had an attorney (client) recently say in all sincerity that it was quite scary initially to go through the workflow coaching process with me, precisely because he was afraid to declare some of his projects "done"! (I mean, what if they weren't perfect yet?!)

I suggest you give yourself a treat and review the year that just past and look forward to the year ahead.


"Celebrate any progress. Don't wait to get perfect."

-Ann McGee Cooper



For those of you who want more form and structure, here are some questions that can guide you in your 2009 review and 2010 goal setting. When I go through these kinds of questions I like to consider my answers in several areas:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Mental
  • Spiritual
  • Financial
  • Family
  • Community Service
  • Fun / creativity / recreation

Completing and remembering 2009

Review the list of all completed projects
What was your biggest triumph in 2009?
What was the smartest decision you made in 2009?
What one word best sums up and describes your 2009 experience?
What was the greatest lesson you learned in 2009?
What was the most loving service you performed in 2009?
What is your biggest piece of unfinished business in 2009?
What are you most happy about completing in 2009?
Who were the three people that had the greatest impact on your life in 2009?
What was the biggest risk you took in 2009?
What was the biggest surprise in 2009?
What important relationship improved the most in 2009?
What compliment would you liked to have received in 2009?
What compliment would you liked to have given in 2009?
What else do you need to do or say to be complete with 2009?

Creating the new year

What would you like to be your biggest triumph in 2010?
What advice would you like to give yourself in 2010?
What is the major effort you are planning to improve your financial results in 2010?
What would you be most happy about completing in 2010?
What major indulgence are you willing to experience in 2010?
What would you most like to change about yourself in 2010?
What are you looking forward to learning in 2010?
What do you think your biggest risk will be in 2010?
What about your work, are you most committed to changing and improving in 2010?
What is one as yet undeveloped talent you are willing to explore in 2010?
What brings you the most joy and how are you going to do or have more of that in 2010?
Who or what, other than yourself, are you most committed to loving and serving in 2010?
What one word would you like to have as your theme in 2010?

GTD Events


Make this your year for mastering GTD. Whether you are new to GTD or looking to fine-tune what you have already implemented, our Mastering Workflow classes are a great way to master the fundamentals of GTD. Coming soon to Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

Register with a friend or colleague by January 15th and save* 20% off both tuitions. Use the coupon GTDFriends20 upon checkout.

* Discount does not apply retroactively and may not be combined with other discounts. Please email for questions and other special group discounts.

GTD Tools
Making It All Work in Paperback and File Folder Bundles Making It All Work GTD File Folder Bundle
GTD Community


Take a fresh look at your GTD approach and systems in the January 14th "Kick Start 2010" Webinar. Led by two of the senior coaches. Open to GTD Connect members.

GTD Connect is $48 per month (cancel anytime) or $480 per year (one year commitment). It's a great way to connect with an active community of GTD'ers around the world while you learn directly from David and the Coaches. Learn more...


Get a running start to GTD with our new eLearning course. A great course on the GTD fundamentals. Includes a wizard for building your first draft GTD system. Self-paced. Access for an entire year to keep expanding your GTD mastery.


What are your favorite tools for your GTD workflow? Join the hugely popular discussion over on the GTD Times blog. Share what works for you.


GTD® is the popular shorthand for "Getting Things Done®", the groundbreaking work-life management system and book by David Allen that transforms personal overwhelm and overload into an integrated system of stress-free productivity. Read more...


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