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Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free…

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (original 2001; edition 2002)

by David Allen

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Title:Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Authors:David Allen
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2002), Paperback, 267 pages
Collections:Your library

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Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen (2001)

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Showing 1-5 of 137 (next | show all)
One of the original productivity guides and still one of the most thorough, inspiring and thought-provoking. Allen's revolutionary idea was to change 'to do lists' into action lists, bringing all obligations or duties from all parts of our lives together into one organisational system. His key rule is to get everything down in a reliable, regularly-checked system, and to get it out of our heads, where it's contributing to a feeling of stress and being overwhelmed. Once we've written out our various projects, our job is to assess what steps we need to take to achieve them, and to focus, step by step, on the next thing we have to do - which brings us steadily closer to our goal without overwhelming us with one huge task. Straightforward and easily customised, it's a simple way to get your stuff back under control. I'm in the process of applying it to my work obligations right now and it is helping, though there's a long way to go. Bear in mind that most of the books you now see jostling for space on Amazon are pale imitations of this. Save your money on those, and buy this instead.

But which edition should you buy? I'm currently referring to a copy of the first edition from 2001, which I borrowed from my local library. Its ideas are still relevant in their broadest sense, but this oldest edition now feels very dated, as Allen is writing for a world in which all filing is done on paper and only the most advanced executives might have a Palm PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), which now sounds as archaic as a BBC computer. Despite that, the lessons can easily be applied to our modern, Evernote and Todoist-connected world. I've just ordered my own copy of the updated 2015 edition and will come back to rework and amend my review once I've read that. ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Aug 21, 2017 |
This is definitely one of the most useful and practical books I have ever read. I've had little trouble adapting his paper-based system to a digital organization system that better suits me, and I'm already getting more done! ( )
  R.E.Stearns | Aug 15, 2017 |

This book is boring to read, though it seems helped lots of people. The concept of the book is well-known for many years and makes quiet sense. But the hard part is how to implement this system into the daily life.

- When to read this book?
When you have multiple projects going at the same time and tons of things have to be done, and when the complexity and priority of those things cannot be organized into a simple to-do list.

- What benefits you will get?
After getting all of the tasks out of your mind and writing them down, you would immediately be relieved from the feeling that too many thing have not done yet.

- And then?
Collecting to-dos is easy and creating a lot of good feeling, but getting things done is another thing. The system would collapse very quickly if it has not been maintained very well. It is so called "GTD bankruptcy".

- Does the book tell you how to get things done?
Definitely not! To get things done, you have to know the things you are passionate, to know how to prioritize the tasks you need to do, and most importantly, to do the job. This book would not teach you how to do that.

- One more thing
Is GTD killing creativity? ( )
  zhliu0124 | Aug 7, 2017 |
I own both editions, the physical edition for 2001 and the Kindle brand new edition for 2015.

David Allen claims to have rewritten the book entirely for it to be fitting for today, especially with technological advancements that came a long way since it was first published.

I tried to compare the two editions to see what has been changed exactly. The most striking distinction is his labeling for the 5 stages of Mastering Workflows. Initially they were called: Collect, Process, Organize, Review and Do. Now they're renamed into: Capture, Clarify, Organize, Reflect, and Engage.

Allen puts more effort into mentioning digital tools such as using mobile devices and computer programs without actually getting way into deep naming the particular programs. And there are a lot of programs today that were wholly designed with Allen's GTD methodology. In a way, I think it's smart not to mention them but it does render itself as on-the-surface information often without much depth into exactly HOW GTD is incorporated digitally. For that, I find myself Googling or YouTubing to find tutorials (and there are plenty).

Aside from these alterations, the book has more or less kept its original outline. There still 3 main parts for the book (exactly like the original) except for two additional chapters in the end- Chapter 14: GTD and Cognitive Science and Chapter 15: The Path of GTD Mastery. The first edition is 267 pages; the updated one is 320.

In Chapter 14, Allen points out that there is a significant amount of research in the field of social and cognitive psychology that has been documented since his first edition that validated the efficacy of GTD. Personally, I felt this chapter was mainly functioning as a testimonial for his work (though credibly justified).

In Chapter 15, Allen adopts somewhat of a Zen-approach in an attempt to define what 'mastery' is and how it can be attained in accomplishing GTD.

Overall, the book speaks like a 2015 edition, but does it fundamentally add anything new to the original? Not really. So it all comes down to: If you're new to GTD and you would like go get the book then definitely get the 2015 edition. If you have the old edition like me and thinking of buying the updated one then it's not a necessity in my opinion unless you're a zealous fan and a collector of editions. ( )
  Teacup_ | Jun 25, 2017 |
In Getting Things Done, David Allen shares breakthrough methods for stress-free performance. Allen's premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done can transform the way you work, showing you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.
  CELTLibrary | May 17, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 137 (next | show all)
It is simply the best personal productivity book I’ve ever read, and there’s material in this book that can apply to anyone’s life, whether you’re a manager or a writer or a professional or a stay-at-home parent.
added by mikeg2 | editThe Simple Dollar, Trent (May 6, 2007)

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Votre efficacité est directement liée à votre capacitéde vous détendre . Ce livre va transformer radicalement votre manière de vivre et de travailler.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0142000280, Paperback)

With first-chapter allusions to martial arts, "flow," "mind like water," and other concepts borrowed from the East (and usually mangled), you'd almost think this self-helper from David Allen should have been called Zen and the Art of Schedule Maintenance.

Not quite. Yes, Getting Things Done offers a complete system for downloading all those free-floating gotta-do's clogging your brain into a sophisticated framework of files and action lists--all purportedly to free your mind to focus on whatever you're working on. However, it still operates from the decidedly Western notion that if we could just get really, really organized, we could turn ourselves into 24/7 productivity machines. (To wit, Allen, whom the New Economy bible Fast Company has dubbed "the personal productivity guru," suggests that instead of meditating on crouching tigers and hidden dragons while you wait for a plane, you should unsheathe that high-tech saber known as the cell phone and attack that list of calls you need to return.)

As whole-life-organizing systems go, Allen's is pretty good, even fun and therapeutic. It starts with the exhortation to take every unaccounted-for scrap of paper in your workstation that you can't junk, The next step is to write down every unaccounted-for gotta-do cramming your head onto its own scrap of paper. Finally, throw the whole stew into a giant "in-basket"

That's where the processing and prioritizing begin; in Allen's system, it get a little convoluted at times, rife as it is with fancy terms, subterms, and sub-subterms for even the simplest concepts. Thank goodness the spine of his system is captured on a straightforward, one-page flowchart that you can pin over your desk and repeatedly consult without having to refer back to the book. That alone is worth the purchase price. Also of value is Allen's ingenious Two-Minute Rule: if there's anything you absolutely must do that you can do right now in two minutes or less, then do it now, thus freeing up your time and mind tenfold over the long term. It's commonsense advice so obvious that most of us completely overlook it, much to our detriment; Allen excels at dispensing such wisdom in this useful, if somewhat belabored, self-improver aimed at everyone from CEOs to soccer moms (who we all know are more organized than most CEOs to start with). --Timothy Murphy

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:10 -0400)

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Veteran coach and management consultant Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to thousands. He shows how to assess goals, relax, and stay focused.

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