It’s All About the Art of Stress-Free Productivity
As my personal and professional life changed, I needed a new way to look at how I do work. Keeping a daily list of prioritized tasks used to work for me; today, I’m lucky if I can get three hours of predefined work done as planned.
Bottom line: I was trying to keep and manage so many things in my head that it eventually became overwhelming for me to keep up. I needed a new plan.
I chose to get coaching from David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.
Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective results and unleash our creative potential. From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done can transform the way you work and live, showing you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down. —David Allen
This page is a documentary of my journey toward improved productivity, sharing with you how I have implemented the strategies for personal organization.
- Mind Like Water: Getting back on track, getting things done. (2011/03/29)
- Keys to being on top of commitments. (2011/03/30)
Getting Started with GTD
- Getting Started with GTD: Getting organized. (2011/08/15)
- Getting started with GTD: Collect – The physical stuff. (2011/08/16)
- Getting started with GTD: Collect – Mind sweep. (2011/08/17)
- Getting started with GTD: Process and Organize. (2011/08/18)
- Getting started with GTD: Review and Do. (2011/08/19)
The Five Stages of Mastering Workflow
According to David Allen, these are the five discrete stages that we go through as we deal with our work. Although these stages work together as a core process, each can be done independently throughout the day. Sometimes, for example, I only have enough time before my next meeting to collect input but not have time to process. For each stage, I will share with you how I have been able to customize strategies that work for me and my lifestyle.
Capture anything and everything that has your attention in leakproof external “buckets” (your in-baskets, email, notebooks, voice mail etc.) — get them out of your short-term memory.
- GTD: Using Evernote to remember everything.
- OmniFocus on my iPhone: Siri integration. (2012/01/30)
- GTD: Getting the capture habit. (2012/08/15)
- GTD: Collecting with Apple’s Reminders. (2012/08/17)
- GTD: Clearing the way to focus on vacationing (mind sweeping). (2013/03/22)
Process the items you have collected (decide what each thing means, specifically).
Group the results of processing your input into appropriately retrievable and reviewable categories.
- Managing tasks with OmniFocus. (2012/01/02)
- Using contexts in OmniFocus. (2012/01/09)
- OmniFocus on my iPhone. (2012/01/16)
- Using my eBrain to organize my digital files. (2012/08/13)
Take a look at your commitments on a regular basis, keeping your entire system up-to-date and effective for you.
- OmniFocus on my iPhone: Forecast. (2012/01/23)
- From overwhelmed to in control with the Weekly Review. (2014/04/11)
Make choices about your actions based upon what you can do (context), how much time you have, how much energy you have, and then your priorities.
- Do what will bring you the most value. (2013/02/08)
The Threefold Nature of Work
Why do people complain that there’s no time to get their work done? Because there is more work to do than the work they think they have to do. —David Allen
There are three different categories of work that we engage in on a regular basis (or should be):
- Doing predefined work
- Doing work as it shows up
- Defining your work
Once we understand each of these categories and can recognize them in the work that we do, we can better find balance in our day and not feel overwhelmed.
1. Doing predefined work
This is work that you have already processed and “defined.” You are working off your “Next Actions” list and managing your workflow.
2. Doing work as it shows up
This is work that shows up unexpectedly and it can come from many different places: phone calls, email, coworkers, customers, boss. You need to anticipate that you are going to have unplanned work in your schedule.
3. Defining your work
Defining work entails processing all that is in your in baskets and breaking down projects into actionable steps. It is also the most uncomfortable for many people because this category is not traditionally seen as actual work.