Getting Things Done is a methodology developed by David Allen. This methodology appeals to the geek culture on the internet, and especially to the programers. It allows you to assemble tight plans and enhance your productivity, if you have clear tasks. Numerous people will claim this book to be productivity bible. Certainly it can be a starting point in your journey to increase your personal productivity and efficiency.
Overview of the book
The book consists of three parts:
“The Art Of Getting Things Done“. This part of the book explains the mental processes from David Allen’s point of view. In my opinion this part of the book is it’s weakest links, as it doesn’t explain how to implement new inner game, but rather how things function, and from there he gives justification for the system, and why it completely needs to replace your thinking process. The reason why I don’t like this part, is the fact that David didn’t remind you to “Do your own thinking“. No matter how good of a system you get from him, if you didn’t earn it, by doing your own thinking, it’s never gonna be good enough. On the other hand, he clarifies the importance of the bottom up approach, because numerous daily tasks prevent us from seeing the bigger picture. Most people focus too much on this part of the book, instead of getting in the zone with it.
It was initially made for pen and paper, but as the GTD culture emerged throughout the internet, numerous apps came to life to support this system. Some of these apps are really good task managers, and I use some of them, even though I don’t follow GTD. Some of the popular applications are: Omnifocus, Evernote, Zendone, Things…
Getting Things Done is one of those books that offers a lot of tips and techniques, but when it comes to implementation of that methodology in digital world, it falls behind, and seems like it was written for 20th century, and doesn’t seem to offer solution for modern day problems, like social media and numerous newly found distractions found in Tablets and Smartphones.
Numerous GTD folks follow this methodology religiously, but if you pay attention to the forums, you will see a lot of cries and whines, on how hard it is to actually implement this kind of robust system.
I do recommend getting this book, never the less, but keep your critical mind turned on while reading it, because I am convinced that this kind of system takes time to get implemented, and it’s not for everyone.
Steep learning curve might make you fall behind on your productivity for a while, before it starts going up again. If you want something that will take you off right away and is simplified for the newbie, I recommend that you check my article on the CORE system, which is watered down version of GTD.