Ever wonder why the successful, over-achievers always seem to keep a cool head?
“It took me 25 years to figure out what I’d figured out,” says David Allen, creator of the Getting Things Done method of organising work, life and everything in between.
Getting Things Done, or GTD, is the ace your sleeve is currently lacking in terms of maintaining a hectic schedule and staying on top of it. You can pick up the book for less than $10, but before you do check out the following videos for a crash course in organising your life.
Getting Things Done
One of the best introductions to the Getting Things Done method is David Allen’s own talk at Google in 2007. In it David explores the two keys to maintaining a healthy balance between life and work – maintaining concentration and avoiding distractions.
When David Allen came up with Getting Things Done method of organisation, digital notes were almost as disorganised and easy to lose as paper ones. That’s a nice way of saying the method is old, has stood the test of time but still needs some adaptation to play nicely with the always-on nature of today’s world.
The Short Version, Please!
If you really want to take control of your hopelessly disorganised work and play schedules, you’ll probably want to buy the book and jump in foot-first. That said, there are a few basic fundamental concepts to the GTD method which can be explained in a relatively short time.
YouTube user Roel Smelt has laid bare the basic concepts behind David Allen’s method in little more than six minutes. With a little initiative, your GTD journey begins here.
Just Add Evernote
Remember what I said earlier about GTD requiring a small amount of modernisation in order to run with the best in 2015? Well few note-taking services are as flexible as Evernote which provides ubiquitous access to digital notes across a range of platforms, transforming it from an infinite notebook into a must-have organisational tool.
The video above is a dry yet thorough look at organising your life using Evernote and GTD. The version of Evernote featured in the video is a little outdated, but the advice and real-world examples are still beneficial if you are wondering how others put GTD to use. Those of you already up and running with Microsoft’s OneNote can take a look at the video below instead.
Remember, whether you’re using a purpose-built GTD solution like OmniFocus, Evernote, SimpleNote or dead trees, it’s the system of organisation that matters rather than the software or medium you choose. You can even transform Outlook into a GTD productivity hub if you want.
The Secret Weapon
Can’t be bothered to set up your own GTD system, or simply not sure where to start? The Secret Weapon is a method of organisation that uses GTD, Evernote and the project’s own “manifesto” to establish a detailed system of tags and notes that are ready to start using almost immediately.
Check out the video above for an idea of what the system hopes to achieve, then head to the website and download the manifesto to get started.
David Allen on Getting Things Done
Finally, it’s nice to see the master at work in this video in which David provides a glimpse into how he uses the system himself. If you can ignore the poor sound quality in the video above, you’ll learn that keeping on top of your inbox is key to keeping on top of everything.
Do you use GTD?
Image: Paperwork (Curtis Perry)
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