Why Getting Things Done?

For Hack Your Life With A Private Wiki Notebook, Getting Things Done, And Other Systems.

Getting Things Done is David Allen's process of Self Improvement, or at least Bottom-Up Time Management - a cult?

Why so popular? Because, being Bottom-Up, it doesn't require a lot of Big Picture thinking up front (compared to, say, Worldview Based Living) to make progress and start... Getting Things Done.

The key practices:

  • capture everything (To-Do List, papers needing action, emails, etc.) in a systematic way (you don't need a single bucket/process for everything, but you need a system/process for each inflow) so you "can forget about them" until you review them. Uncaptured things are referred to as "stuff" or Open Loop-s, and considered a source of stress.
  • define the Next Action for each Project so that you seeing a broad Project name in your To-Do List doesn't trigger the need to think about what that really means for an action
  • use a Daily Review and Weekly Review to pick your Most Important Task-s to make sure you get done (so you don't let the urgent-but-unimportant drown you).

A number of people find trying to maintain the entire system too much work, so pick the key practices to focus on:

GTD’s Bottom-Up approach to productivity helps you get the pressing things done in your life so you can have the energy to answer the question “what’s my Purpose?” But note it doesn't spend much time helping you figure out what that Purpose is (Meaningful Life). This relates to Why Use A Wiki For Your Notebook.

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