Monday, July 25, 2011

v42.4: Getting Things Done?

Hey folks,

Our office hosted a little seminar today on David Allen's Getting Things Done work-life management tool.  I must admit, I was a bit impressed/inspired by it all.  There are definitely some parts of the system that I could apply to my day-to-day life that would help quite a bit to ensure I get things done properly.  As I was listening to the session, I was trying to put it all together in my head; how to make it work in both my work and my personal life.  Unfortunately, with the way we do things at work, there is no easy way to bridge the gap technically.  I was thinking a smart device like a Black Berry or iPhone must just do the trick, and it may if I could get my hands on one.  I have a Black Berry for work now, but due to the security policies on it, I'm not able to do anything with it except make phone calls and read/send corporate emails.

The first part of the seminar we were asked to grab a sheet of paper and write down everything we had in our heads that are things we need to do.  For example, I wrote stuff like:

  • Pay Power Bill

  • Pay Cable Bill

  • Do Laundry

  • Wash Dishes

  • Sweep Floor

  • etc.


These are things that are constantly on my mind and when they start to add up, you have a greater chance of forgetting things.  The whole idea behind GTD is to write it all down so you don't have to remember it.  This way you can take the things you need to do and categorize them into buckets or areas.  You could create some lists like "Home" and "Work" where you could list things you needed to do for each.  You could have another list called "Call" where you could list all the people you had to call for whatever reason; include the telephone in the list so if you're using a smart device like an iPhone or Black Berry you can easily dial out while looking at the list.  These are great things you can do while driving in traffic or when you have a few minutes waiting for something.  Been putting off calling the garage to get your car in for maintenance?  Add it to the call list so you don't forget it.

Of course this whole idea of lists and writing things down is pointless if you don't review it.  The guide to GTD has guidelines on when to review lists; some are daily while others are weekly or monthly.  This way you are only focused on the things that are most important while the other things can be followed-up on less frequently.  The idea is clearing your mind from all the unnecessary "remembering" and taking the things you need to do and getting them done by organizing them.  It really is an interesting system, but it will only work if you invest the time to do it properly.  If you're interested in learning more about GTD, I highly urge you to head over to David Allen's site and read about it.

Well folks, just a quick update for now.  I will definitely be adding "blog on my favorite blogging site" to my list of Getting Things Done :)

Cheers till next time,

Al