Getting Things Done

For non-actionable material

  1. Trash basket & <del> key
  2. “Tickler” file or Calendar for Incubating Material
  3. Good filing system for “Reference Material”
  4. List of Projects (Review Weekly)
  5. Tracking on “Next Actions” List (need to do ASAP)
  6. Store Support Material out of sight
  7. “Waiting For”  List
  8. “Incubation” → something you may want to do someday
  9. CD’s
  10. Books you may want to read
  11. Seminars
  12. Weekend Trips
  13. Reference Material
  14. Menus/Drawings
  15. File contracts by date (can write in calendar when they can be trashed)

Next Actions List Categories

  • At home
  • At computer
  • In meetup with George

Weekly review

  • gather and process “stuff”
  • review system
  • update lists
  • get clean, clear, current, and complete

How to pick what to do?

  • Context
  • Time Available
  • Energy Available
  • Priority

Planning a Project

  • Purpose
    • Why? Define what you’re trying to achieve.
  • Principles
    • I would let them do anything they want with this project as long as they… (complete
  • Successful Outcome
    • Make it as specific as possible to define the ‘end-point’ of the project
    • View the project from beyond the completion date
    • envision “wild success”
    • capture features, aspects, qualities you imagine in place.
  • Potential Steps
    • Brainstorming (Mind-Mapping)
    • Distributed Cognition (get ideas out of your brain)
    • Organize
    • Notice the natural steps/parts
    • Fill in the blanks
    • Detail to the required degree
  • Decide on Next Actions
    • Decide on the next actions for each of the current moving parts of the project
    • decide on the next action in the planning process, if necessary.
    • If there are several next actions, make sure to realize what things can be done simultaneously, etc.
    • If the next action depends on someone else, clarify with that person and use the “waiting for” list.


Getting Things Done (David Allen)

  • Highlight Loc. 3118-45 | Added on Tuesday, December 15, 2009, 08:13 PM

Weekly Review ~

From a nitty-gritty, practical standpoint, here is the drill that can get you there:

Loose Papers – Pull out all miscellaneous scraps of paper, business cards, receipts, and so on that have crept into the crevices of your desk, clothing, and accessories. Put it all into your in-basket for processing.

Process Your Notes – Review any journal entries, meeting notes, or miscellaneous notes scribbled on notebook paper. List action items, projects, waiting-fors, calendar events, and someday/maybes, as appropriate. File any reference notes and materials. Stage your “Read/Review” material. Be ruthless with yourself, processing all notes and thoughts relative to interactions, projects, new initiatives, and input that have come your way since your last download, and purging those not needed.

Previous Calendar Data –  Review past calendar dates in detail for remaining action items, reference information, and so on, and transfer that data into the active system. Be able to archive your last week’s calendar with nothing left uncaptured.   Upcoming Calendar Look at future calendar events (long-and short-term). Capture actions about arrangements and preparations for any upcoming events.

Empty Your Head – Put in writing (in appropriate categories) any new projects, action items, waiting-fors, someday/maybes, and so forth that you haven’t yet captured.

Review “Projects” (and Larger Outcome) Lists – Evaluate the status of projects, goals, and outcomes one by one, ensuring that at least one current kick-start action for each is in your system.

Review “Next Actions” Lists – Mark off completed actions. Review for reminders of further action steps to capture.

Review “Waiting For” List – Record appropriate actions for any needed follow-up. Check off received items.

Review Any Relevant Checklists – Is there anything you haven’t done that you need to do?

Review “Someday/Maybe” List – Check for any projects that may have become active and transfer them to “Projects.” Delete items no longer of interest.

Review “Pending” and Support Files – Browse through all work-in-progress support material to trigger new actions, completions, and waiting-fors.

Be Creative and Courageous – Are there any new, wonderful, harebrained, creative, thought-provoking, risk-taking ideas you can add to your system?

What are your key goals and objectives in your work? What should you have in place a year or three years from now? How is your career going? Is this the life-style that is most fulfilling to you? Are you doing what you really want or need to do, from a deeper and longer-term perspective?


Getting Things Done (David Allen)

  • Highlight Loc. 3883-84 | Added on Tuesday, December 15, 2009, 09:49 PM

When a culture adopts “What’s the next action?” as a standard operating query, there’s an automatic increase in energy, productivity, clarity, and focus.