I first heard about Getting Things Done from my friend Saren, who recommended it casually as a book I might enjoy. I then saw it at the library the following week and picked it up--thinking I might glean an organization tip or two as I flipped through the pages.
Well, that book flipped my organization/life management strategy upside down and gave me the tools and perspective I needed to accomplish way more in much less time (while enjoying my family in an un-distracted way that I'd only dreamed about).
I now teach GTD for Moms in a program called Mind Organization for Moms. If you haven't checked it out yet, please do. I LOVE this program and use it every single day.
Here are some of the key ideas from the TED talk above that really resonated with me:
- Appropriate engagement: Our goal isn't just to get a whole lot of stuff "done." Our goal is to be appropriately engaged with our lives. We want to spend the right amount of time on the right things--and not waste our precious hours procrastinating or being stressed out.
- NOTHING should be in our heads. Writing each idea, project, and commitment on paper gives us space in our minds to be more creative, more productive, and happier overall. Putting all those papers into trusted systems allows our minds to rest, and that opens the world to us.
- Sophisticated Spontaneity: Isn't that a beautiful term? When our commitments and projects are clearly defined and put into a seamless system, we can then be that "spontaneous" person who runs off on a romantic getaway for a weekend or sits at the kitchen table for an hour playing Legos. Our minds know what they are not doing, so there's no stress. We'll just pick up where we left off.
- More time won't solve our problems. We might think "just two more hours" will give us that peace and order we desire. But more time (with our current disorganized systems) will just give us more "overwhelm and stickiness" (as David calls it). Revamping our systems is the key.
Each one of us has important things to do--within our own families, within our professions, within our communities, and within the world. Getting a handle on our lives--including our emails, errands, tasks, projects, goals, and paperwork--is essential, and the GTD system is honestly the best one I know.
Thanks David Allen!
Any additional thoughts or questions?