Book review: Getting Things Done
I finished and implemented Getting Things Done, a book and organization system by David Allen, a couple weeks ago. There are entire sites and dedicated blogs [via Wayback Machine] about GTD, so I feel a little outnumbered in trying to give it a review that does it justice. So I’ll just share what it has done for me.
If you’re anything like me, you deal with a lot of intangible things all day. You manage information. You may have heard this called “knowledge work.” And now that email is such a widely-used medium of communication, it’s easy for people to pile work on you. You end up with more work than you can possibly handle.
In my early 20s, I was able to remember everything that I had on my plate. But as I’ve gotten older and have a ton more responsibility in my career, I just can’t keep it all in my head without forgetting about something.
GTD is the answer to this problem. It’s a system for organizing all of the information and to-dos that we must peddle around from day to day. It gets everything out of our heads and onto paper and/or our PDAs and computers. And it encourages to do this all in a fashion that works the way that we work. That way we can live in the present instead of worrying about what we should have done in the past and what we must do in the future.
My experience with GTD
I’ve implemented GTD in phases up to this point. It’s taken me about 3 weeks to see a return on all of the work that it’s taken to get organized and keep that system maintained. It’s a lot of work to manage information. But boy has it payed off.
Who it’s for
This is one of those books where I could think of at least 5 people in my life that it would help as I read it. So that’s why I’m telling you about it, reader.
If you’re finding yourself feeling buried and lost at times, I recommend investing some time to read this book. I’ve always had a sense that I should be staying organized like this, and I’m glad that I finally have a system that is realistic.