Tagged With getting things done

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Most people are interested in getting something done. But maybe you aren't. Maybe you just want to feel productive, or efficient, or hard-working, without having to actually accomplish something. You can't just start doing that. First you need to plan, and first you need to plan to plan.

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You don't hear a lot of people talk about the Getting Things Done productivity system any more. It isn't as colourful or Insta-friendly as the Bullet Journal, and although various apps have claimed to "work with GTD", they have all fallen slightly short -- because, at its core, GTD is analogue.

It's a system that works less well if you let Gmail automatically sort your email into categories, or if you let an app scan your docs to pull out to-dos or calendar items, since the whole point of GTD is that you are actively tracking and collecting every task, responsibility or concern (AKA "Open Loop") that comes your way. You have to review every email and write down every appointment, because if you spend any time worrying whether an app has neglected to auto-schedule something, that's an Open Loop that's taking up space in your mind and preventing you from getting something else done.

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If your productivity system isn't one that you can trust to actually help you work, it's no good. In a recent post at the GTD blog, David Allen explains why it's so important for your productivity system to trustworthy, or you'll wind up putting more effort into the system than into the work you need to do.

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You may have heard the saying, "you eat an elephant one bite at a time." Even if the metaphor makes you a little queasy, the point is a valid one: to tackle something big, you just have to start. Productivity guru David Allen makes a similar point about how powerful taking action is.

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Getting things done often has more to do with removing barriers than actually accomplishing a task on your list. Whether you have too much email, too many creative blocks, or a myriad of distractions, it's time to metaphorically (and sometimes literally) press the delete key and make your work goals achievable.

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If you've ever found yourself with a few precious free moments but then wasted them wondering how you should use them, you're not alone. David Allen, creator of the widely-used Getting Things Done (GTD) system, explains in this video that if you only stop to think about the priority of your to-dos at the last minute, you're already lost.

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Getting things done (GTD) guru David Allen recently spoke in an interview with The Atlantic about all the things that keep him organised and productive. He uses a combination of low-tech tools and digital applications to accomplish what he says is the number one thing people need to do to gain control over their lives: "externalise" all the stuff that's coming in.

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Being a perfectionist is like being Harvey Dent after that crazy face fire in The Dark Knight: Half of you is achieving above and beyond in your projects and your job performance is stellar. The other half sees a dark desire rise up that wants to derail your productivity by making you obsess over every little detail to the detriment of future projects. You are a productivity Two-Face. So how do you turn off that inner perfectionist? Guy Williams, visual effects supervisor on The Avengers, argues the secret is looking to the future.

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Evernote is a powerful tool not just for capturing information, but also planning projects and tasks. My Simple Curiosity has a very detailed guide to incorporating Evernote templates into your GTD workflow for project planning, plus sample templates to get you started.