Book Review: Getting Things Done -The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Author:  David Allen


Fun to Read Factor:  6 out of 10

Value of Ideas:   9 out of 10

Do you have 9 million things you are trying to keep track of?  Does your life sometimes feel so overwhelming that you give up and just play spider solitaire on your Ipad?  Instead of letting life pass by without the realization of your dream ideas, carve some time to read this book.

The fun to read factor’s low rating is simply because of how you will feel when he is explaining the things you will have to do to, y’know (GULP) c‑h‑a‑n‑g‑e. All the changing is mainly a huge chunk-o-time initially to re-organize your organization system from piles, stacks, and mile long to-do lists into an everything on the plate, mind-emptying purge which is eventually sorted into clear “next action” steps.  For me – since I’m extremely low-tech – the big switch was from a ridiculously un-doable long daily to-do list with things I’d LOVE to get accomplished inter-mixed with things I HAD to do to a more specified time/place lists specified on legal pads with clear next action steps.

Things I loved about this book:

  1. He knows.  He really hits home by explaining lots of typical strategies busy people use to get organized that eventually leave you swimming in literally piles and stacks of energy sucking eye-sores.  (To be honest, I still have quite a few to get through, but thanks to this book I have a better strategy!!!)
  2. He gives you both low-tech & higher-tech options and encourages you to create strategies that work for you around a do-able frame work. It makes sense to me that a one-size fits all strategy won’t work for everyone.  A huge business executive is going to be swimming in different challenges than someone like me, a care-taker of an adult special needs child who also enjoys writing and creating children’s books. Both may be busy, but the way to arrange the extremely varied workloads will look vastly different.
  3. He points out how to sort ALL your projects (which he defines and anything you want to accomplish that takes more than two steps) into ”next action” steps. He includes time sensitive projects vs. long term personal projects, relationships, home improvements, everything – so you can clear your mind from the clutter and enjoy the process of actually doing them.
  4. He explains how to clearly define and logically sort a massive thought/responsibility load into a system that will more easily help you produce what YOU really want to produce.

It’s not magic, it takes effort & thought.  I do feel reading Getting Things Done will help me get back to turning my dreams into realities, which is something I always start doing until life happens & I get overwhelmed under stacks and piles of dreams on hold. I have hope again.  Thank-You David Allen!

At some point, for any outcome we have an internal commitment to complete, we must make a decision about the next physical action required.  There’s a big difference, however, between making that decision when things show up and doing it when they blow up. ~ Dave Allen