I’m starting back up on a productivity system called “Getting Things Done” or “GTD”. It’s a system created by David Allen and he wrote a best-selling book about this system where you can check it out here:

“Oh, I need to do…”

That is a thought we encounter multiple times throughout the day. David Allen’s objective is to capture those moments and initiate action. According to Allen, we use up much of our subconscious brainpower on remembering tasks and how incredibly inefficient that is. Instead of constantly reminding yourself of your pending tasks, immediately write it down; this is the first step to decluttering your mind.

The process of writing down tasks is what he considers building an “inbox” for your life, but as we all know from our email inboxes, we just continue to collecting and never seem to ever get caught up. Allen’s plan to combat this is that whenever you pull something out of your inbox, you cannot put it back; it needs some kind of forward progress. If the task takes less than 2 minutes and you can act on it now, then stop procrastinating and just do it right now! Why wait on it when it’s just going to be sitting in the back of your mind? 

As for other stuff that will take longer to accomplish, Allen says that once you pick up that task, you need to define the very next action to move that task forward. He gives the example of the task “Get car oil changed” is not in itself an action, unless you are doing it yourself and have all your supplies waiting by the car you cannot immediately act on that task. If you intend on taking your car to a auto shop, the very next action would be to call the shop to schedule an appointment (that is assuming you know which shop you want to go to and you have the number, otherwise those would be steps to take beforehand).

GTD Process

The point is that there are many steps to things we think are pretty straightforward. We may not consciously be aware of those steps and what we’re lacking to move forward, but we do subconsciously and that is a big reason for much of our procrastination.

My plan:

This is my third time starting this plan, I tried twice before and when I was on it, it was amazing! I just was able to unload my all my thoughts and break down tasks and crank through them. It’s always surprising to see all the many things I’m juggling in my mind. The difficulty with this system and where I failed in the previous two times is that this system is an all-or-nothing system, you can’t do it half way or skip out on checking in after a few days, otherwise you resort back to inefficient methods and you lose momentum. Third time’s a charm though, right?

I’ll be adopting this system in a digital format by using folders in my Evernote account. You can watch a video of how this looks here:

So wish me luck! I already know it’s incredibly effective, I just need to be able to keep at it, and posting on here I feel provides a degree of accountability. Has anyone else used this system before? What are your thoughts on it?

—Grant X.

Currently reading:
“Breakthrough Rapid Reading” -Peter Kump
“The One Thing” -Gary Keller

Life verse: “But a generous man devises generous things and by his generosity he will stand.” -Isaiah 32:8

Life Mission Statement: To be intentionally focused on providing opportunity and adding value to others.