2005-04-02: Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done

The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (2001)

by David Allen (1945-)

I was alerted to this book by a Mac-oriented web site that promoted some software to assist with adopting Allen’s approach.

When I started at IITRI in 1995, they gave me a Franklin Planner and instructions on how to use it. I never got into the habit, and basically wasted it, largely because I found it too complicated.

Allen’s approach is to simplify (and reduce stress) by getting everything out of your head and into a trusted, reliable system. This way you can be sure to find out what you should be doing next. By trusting your system, you don’t worry that you’ve forgotten some task that will later hurt you.

I don’t claim to have fully implemented his system, but I have adopted some features of it, and find it does help. From what I’ve read of others’ experience, it takes several weeks of practice to reliably develop the necessary habits. I intend to continue using it, and hope to expand its use from the office to home.


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