📖Getting Things Done

David Allen
  • l.340

    As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • p.9 if you have the freedom to decide what to do, you also have the responsibility to make good choices
  • p.12

    You ability to generate power is directly proportional to your ability to relax.

    re: Loehr & Schwartz2003

  • p.16 by default we think of a problem, not about it. Focusing on the outcome/next-actions helps
  • p.21 bottom-up approach
  • p.33

    Keep everything in your head or out of it. If it’s in between, you won’t trust either one.

    The principle of GTD is getting things off of your mind

  • p.39 incubator for non-actionable items
  • do not schedule general todos in calendar

    • they are likely to change
    • calendar is for tasks that must be done on this date. adding general tasks might make you forget about must-tasks
    • instead, use a list of next-actions
  • p.50 weekly review is needed to keep open loops out of your mind
  • p.68

    Simple, clear purpose and principles give rise to complex and intelligent behavior. Complex rules and regulations give rise to simple and stupid behavior. —Dee Hock

  • p.74 “distributed cognition”—getting ideas captured out of your head generates more ideas
  • p.131 no “to file” pile. if you don’t get it into the system immediately, you’ll likely never will

  • p.134 motivation for two-minute rule is that it takes about this time ti manage a task in the system

    • (did this time change with technology/my emacs setup)
  • you have to clear your inbox completely:

    • process item on the top of your list first. you have to deal with every item anyway—cherry-picking increases the likelihood that you leave something unprocessed
    • process one item at a time
    • items never return to the “in” box. if you pick an item, you must process it
  • p.136

    The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hands is more important that the eye… The hands is the cutting edge of the mind. —J. Bronowski

  • p.142 things to distinguish:

    • a project list
    • project support material
    • calendar actions and information
    • next actions lists
    • a waiting for list
    • reference material
    • a someday/maybe list
  • Separate actionable/non-actionable items
  • p.199 early afternoon of the last workday is a good time for weekly review

    • events of the week are still fresh in mind
    • if you discover that you need to work with someone, you still have time to do that
  • p.201 “Trying to create goals before you have confidence that you can keep your everyday world under control will often undermine your motivation and energy rather than enhance them.”
  • p.205 4-criteria model for choosing actions in the moment: context, time available, energy available, priority
  • p.221

    people are actually more comfortable dealing with surprises and crises than they are taking control of processing, organizing, reviewing, and assessing that part of their work that is not self-evident.

  • p.215 horizons

    • Horizon 5: Life
    • Horizon 4: Long-term visions
    • Horizon 3: One-to-two-year goals
    • Horizon 2: Areas of focus and accountabilities
    • Horizon 1: Current projects
    • Ground level: current actions
  • p.218 handle what has you attention. If something is pulling your attention, you should deal with it.

    • once you handle that, it frees you to notice what really has your attention

      • (re: never-ending quest, hedonic treadmill)
  • p.251 (on organizational level, how can I ensure that key people are responsive to requests?)
  • p.254 always ask what’s the next action?
  • p.266 outcome focusing

    • p.268 writing down projects is a way to know what you want from life
    • p.271 “challenging the purpose of anything you may be doing is healthy and mature.”
  • p.277 Getting Things Done: The Science Behind Stress-Free Productivity (paper, 2008)


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