Sunday, April 15, 2007

Getting Things Done.... David Allen

Like many I struggle with keeping on top of things. This has become progressively more difficult as my remit expands from doing, to managing people and then managing projects.

Some friends of mine were talking about a book that had been recommended to read, David Allen's "Getting Things Done", or GTD as it has become popularly known.

The book itself is not the easiest book to read. However; push through it and try to read the very real and useful message that is being conveyed.

Implementing the theory

The great thing that I find about the theory is the small incremental steps that you can take to start to overlay the principles on your daily life.

Setting the basics for me, the key being what works for YOU, was using a system to keep track of what was on my plate, what I was going to do now and what would still be left outstanding. Due to the amount of travel involved for me in my job this has to be something I could and would take with me. This meant my laptop.

At the company I work for this means something with Lotus Notes. Hunting around I found Brett Philp and his GTD for Notes template. Very easy to use and implement and has made a real difference in getting on top of where I am.

Having gotten used to the GTD way of doing things I went through what David suggest is the logical starting point, implementing your real Inbox. This has left me with some key tasks to complete.

The killer app here is post-it notes. Three different colours works very well, defer-delegate, reference and tickler (what Brett would also call fup, follow up)

Next Steps

David has a suggestion for a live filing system, 43 folders. The system is as basic as it can get so it's worth having a look at.

Useful resources:

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