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Getting Things Done by David Allen

Getting Things Done (original 2001; edition 2002)

by David Allen

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8,298142377 (4.03)1 / 59
Title:Getting Things Done
Authors:David Allen
Info:Piatkus Hb/Tpb (2002), Paperback, 288 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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English (131)  Russian (2)  French (2)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (141)
Showing 1-5 of 131 (next | show all)
This was a reread, but my first read since the revised 2015 edition.

I've been doing this for more than ten years, and I still find new things in this book. The new edition is a great improvement. ( )
  adamwolf | Oct 2, 2016 |
This book actually stopped a nervous breakdown in its tracks.

I don't typically read much from the department of motivational business books, but Getting Things Done transcends any such definition. Within the first 20 pages, I already felt more in control of my life.

Unlike many of David Allen's devotees, I'm not an executive at a global corporation; at the moment, I have about $10 to my name. I came across Allen's name and this thing called "GTD" in an app search for some sort of ideal tool that could help me navigate a full time managerial job, a masters program, a tight budget, and all the unexpected odds and ends of relationships and my day-to-day existence. That juggling act was quickly becoming a shortcut to a panic attack.

While anybody who fully implements the GTD methodology could probably rule the world, implementing even one or two of Allen's concepts is sure to help a person rule their life. The GTD system is built to complement the way that human brains function, allowing them to do what they do best—which, as you may suspect, is not juggling the loads of information we’re forced to contend with in today’s fast-paced society. Brains are planners—they want to do the big-picture creative thinking that’s so difficult to achieve when we’re running around trying desperately to stay on top of everything.

The GTD methodology involves thoroughly processing all of the “stuff” that’s on our minds, deciding what specific action needs to be done next on each and every one of those items, and then either doing them or organizing them into a detailed system which gets reviewed regularly. Allen gives a full explanation of how to set up such a system, which can be physical, digital, or some combination of the two. When used effectively, the GTD process clears and calms the mind, allowing it to enter that all-too-elusive “zone” of focus and adaptability.

I admit, I've been noncommittal thus far in my own implementation, but already I've experienced a taste of the mental freedom Allen promises. He includes a bit of psychological research to back up his methods, but also admits that many of the methods are concepts many of us regularly utilize already. The beauty is in this very simplicity, and in the orchestration of all the concepts together.

I’ll forgive him his overuse of dry, corporate terms like “mission-critical,” and his one use of the phrase, “Between wall-to-wall meetings and ambling around your koi pond with a chardonnay at sunset. . .” Allen’s tone overall is approachable, and his system is pure gold. I strongly recommend that you give it an honest shot. ( )
  lennykata | Sep 2, 2016 |
Loved this book. Borrowed from library, decided to buy the most recent version to have a copy of my own ( )
  ncrisafulli | Feb 4, 2016 |
I started reading the background articles in Fast Company and his website in the mid to late 1990s. This book was ground breaking! ( )
  deldevries | Jan 17, 2016 |
Pedestrian ( )
  starkravingmad | Jan 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 131 (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.
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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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7 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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