The Life Changing Magic of Getting Things Done

How to end procrastination and take the first step towards becoming a productivity barracuda

“I am such a procrastinator”

“How does Jess get so much done?”

“I’m struggling to meet my goals.”

“I get so distracted. Maybe I have ADHD or something!”

If you’ve heard yourself saying or thinking these phrases, then read on. The skill of being productive is exactly that: a skill. No one is born with it. Everyone has to learn the skill and strengthen the muscle by flexing it.

There’s lots of ways to be productive, but one tool stands out, head and shoulders above the others and that is Getting Things Done, named after the book by David Allen.

If you google “Getting Things Done” you’ll get a lot of variations of GTD, but here I will be teaching you a very simple, starter-pack version of the system.

The Steps

GTD, boiled down, has three simple steps:

So you got a task. Either in an email, a slack message, in person, via text… somehow someone asked you to do something and you complied. You want complete this task — your you have to!

The Two Minute Rule — If that task would only take 2 minutes to complete, just do it. If little tasks hang around, they pile up, are easy to forget, and in general are just annoying. Just do them and wipe them off your slate.

Calendaring — So you’ve got a task that will take more than 2 minutes. You either know how long the task will take, or you don’t. If you DO know, put it on your calendar. Now you can forget about it until your calendar directs you to complete the task. Phew.

Single Source of Truth — Now you’ve got those tasks that you don’t know how long they will take. What do you do with those? These you add to your single source of truth. Your SST is a master todo list where you put all your todos. The trick here is not to have multiple todo lists, otherwise even a brainiac will quickly get confused and start loosing things.

How To Get Started with GTD

First, setup your calendar. The steps for that are:

Give GTD a try.

Educator, Founder, Engineer. Interested in Evidence Based Education and Solving BIG Problems.

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