- by Don
In this video, I discuss the book Getting Things Done: Why it works for me, why it sometimes doesn't work, and how to make it work.
If you're having trouble focusing and getting your tasks done, I highly recommend reading this book.
Spoiler alert: Pay special attention to the sections on the Weekly Review.
Hey, there! It's Don from RV Business Coach.
Today, I want to talk about how the book, (my glasses are crooked) how the book Getting Things Done has helped me, well... get more things done.
So I've always been a bit of a productivity junkie. I've always kind of wanted to get more done in less time in hopes that that will let me get even more done.
So I've read and implemented quite a few productivity systems, some pretty effectively, some not.
Now, when I first got promoted to be the manager of a software development group, one of the perks that came with the manager title was the company would buy you a day planner.
And the day planner came with a book on time management. I still have the book, which I devoured, and they also sent me to the Franklin Time Management System.
And being a productivity junkie, I was like in hog heaven. I absorbed all that stuff, and used my day planner. I diligently planned my day the way they said to do it at the time, you know, make out your list and then ABC, your highest, lowest priorities and the number of the things within that and then check them off in order.
And that all worked really well for a while.
But at some point I changed jobs and in my new job, I was responsible for dealing with customer issues. And so I'd make out my to do list, my ABC list, my one to three list, and then the phone would ring and that list was worthless because whatever happened on the phone was now my most important task. And then I had some meetings and things to go to, and so there were just little bitty pockets of time to work.
And I was really struggling to get anything done.
And that's when I stumbled into Getting Things Done by David Allen. Now, Getting Things Done when it first came out was extremely popular. And I think David Allen inadvertently spawned an entire generation of software to do list management, context based management, as he calls it, because one of the neat concepts is that you organize by context.
So, for example, things I need to do it work or things to do at home, because if I'm at work, it really doesn't matter that the yard needs to be mowed. I can't do that. Well, now, during the pandemic, I could, but we'll come back to that.
So I found that really interesting and really helpful because I could use those little those small pockets of time and get things done. And, you know, over the years, I've kind of drifted in and out of GTD (GTD is the abbreviation for Getting Things Done), I would drift in and out of the system and had some hybrid things that worked pretty well... Until the pandemic hit.
And then I started struggling with getting things done again because although I had been working at home for a while, I had been working at home by myself and suddenly having the whole family around and all of the home activities that needed to go made it more difficult to focus on the work tasks.
And that's where the context management by David Allen helped a great deal, because I could sit at my desk and filter out my to do list to only show work tasks. And even though in theory I was home and I could do home related things, you know, I could get out and mow the yard in the middle of the day if I wanted to, being able to filter my to do list so that I only saw work related tasks was extremely helpful.
But the other thing that I found that really helped a lot was going back and reapplying the entire system, because my theory is about 80 to 90 per cent of the people out there who think they're doing GTD aren't.
What they're doing is context-based list management. But there's a key element of Getting Things Done that gets overlooked a lot. And that is the weekly review. And even David Allen says the weekly review is the glue that holds the whole system together.
If you're not doing that, it's going to fall apart. And so I got back into the habit of doing the weekly reviews and getting my priorities for the Week set. And that's been extremely helpful.
So that's that's kind of where I'm at now. Definitely not perfect, some things still dropping through the cracks, unfortunately. I guess I'll always be a work in progress on productivity, but having the framework of the system has helped me a lot.
So if you're struggling to get things done, especially during the pandemic or working at home and it's different for you and you're struggling, I highly suggest you read Getting Things Done and pay particular attention to the section on the weekly review, because that's the piece most people overlook.
And as David Allen says, it is the glue that holds everything together.
All right. I hope you found this review helpful. If you're watching on YouTube, please subscribe. If you're watching on Facebook, please like the video, like my page and please leave comments.
I'm happy to respond to those and help out as much as I can.
Thanks a lot. Take care.