Getting Things Done, By David Allen is an awesome book. Seriously, it revolutionized my productivity and organization. In a growing business (or ANY small business!), the number of items that you have to track grows nearly every week. A thing slipping through the cracks becomes more and more common. I can’t tell you how many business owners have asked me why their business wasn’t growing, or told me that they always feel like they are behind and just can’t get ahead. Many of these problems come from simple disorganization. Many great initiatives are complex projects, if you can’t stay organized with your day to day paperwork and tasks, how can you expect to launch new ideas or businesses?
Enter David Allen!
Mr. Allen has been doing this for a long time, and has lots of guides and systems for almost program you might use. His book has a TON of tips and tricks to help people manage their work flow. He has one main system though, to increase productivity. It breaks down something like this:
Take all the miscellaneous work, papers, notes, ideas, etc and run it through this matrix:
Is it Actionable?
Eliminate it – Trash
Incubate it – Someday/Maybe Lists
Reference it – Add to your filing system
Is it a Multi-Step Task?
Will it Take Less Than 2 Minutes? – Do it!
Delegate it – Add to Waiting For List
Add to your To-Do list
Create a Project Sheet w/ List of Actions
There are a LOT of details to go through to get to this point, of course. The weekly review is a critical time to make sure that everything is captured into your system. Having an inbox to capture everything is critical and so is emptying at least once a week. Taking the time to plan at different levels (Runway, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 feet, etc) allows you to create great projects and see them through to completion.
The system is also very customizable; I have used pieces and parts from all over the place to create my own personal system. There are specific guides for blackberries, for Outlook, Palm systems and more. I highly recommend that you also check out David Allen’s Blog, for ongoing great advice.
I can’t begin to cover all the great advice that David Allen has and his skill at helping you implement it. What I can say is: if you buy this book and actually put in some effort to learn and use the system, you WILL be amazed at how more organized and productive you are. I PROMISE.