David Allen's Getting Things Done is a masterful work that turns disorganized and stressed-out people (like myself) into productive, hardworking, and efficient workers. His GTD System focuses on transforming the way individuals handle their incoming tasks and obligations so that things get done in an organized and concise manner, freeing the mind up to do the creative work that it was made to do.
Getting Things Done is composed of three main parts. Part one is titled: "The Art of Getting Things Done." In this section, David Allen does an excellent job illustrating every day (shoddy) work habits that many exercises and explains what an effective work habit ought to be.
In part two, titled: "Practicing Stress-Free PRoductivity," Allen takes his audience through a step-by-step guide to improving workflow. Allen starts by getting his audience to "take control" of their current workspace, setting it up to be organized and efficient, and then goes on to lead his audience through several exercises in which the reader evaluates their current work habits. Some examples of these exercises are: practicing making effective "next action" decisions and practicing the habit of a "weekly review."
In part three, titled "The Power of Key Principles," Allen builds off of the basis set in the previous two sections by providing his audience with principles to lie and die by. These principles are intended to keep our minds proactive, always focused on the next step. By doing this, we will ultimately free our minds up to think creatively.
All in all, David Allen's Getting THings DOne has made a tremendous impact on my life. Concepts like using capturing tools and focusing on next actions have improved my productivity significantly. I cannot recommend this work enough. If you are someone who struggles with getting things done, this book is a necessary read.
What tools are you using to make your workflow more efficient?
In David Allen's Getting Things Done, a clear argument is made: Your brain is great for creativity, but oftentimes it fails us when it comes to workflow efficiency.
One way that we can remedy this issue of efficiency is through using various physical, tangible tools. These tools ought to be things that free up our mental space in order to allow us to do what our brains do best: think creatively.
Often, we treat our brains like storage containers. In order to remedy this, we ought to get our various ideas, obligations, and next actions out onto something tangible. Some examples of good capturing tools are:
Other tools that we ought to have nearby are pieces of technology that can aid us in doing work that our brains aren't well suited for. Tools like this are:
These tools ought to be something that we keep nearby and on hand at all times. In terms of capture tools, having these things on hand will aid us in capturing those ideas that hit us when we aren't expecting them, and if these tools have the role of reminding us of our next action steps, we will be more likely to get these things done.
Also, it should be noted that these tools should be things that we enjoy using. If we enjoy using these tools, then getting work done won't feel like pulling teeth. In my own life, I have a leather journal that I take with me everywhere, and when I have work-related thoughts come into mind, I write them down and keep them on hand.
"Is Christ here with us in the world?"
This is the question that so many people are asking. Those who are in the church, who are left wanting, ask this question. When the secular world sees the scandals of unjust religious leaders, they ask this question. When people experience the death and decay of our broken and sinful world, they ask this question. "Is Christ here with us in the world?"
I feel that our answer should be yes. Through the church, I believe that people ought to experience the very presence of Christ. In David Fitch's Faithful Presence, Fitch proposes that the church ought to be on mission by living "incarnationally." For a church to exist "incarnationally," it is to be in the midst of a community, making the presence of Christ known in tangible ways. In a sense, the church is an extension of the incarnation.
If the church is an extension of the incarnation, what should the Church effect? What should the world experience when it comes in contact with the church?
If we look at the ministry of Jesus, we can say that the Church should cause individuals to experience:
Some sacramental traditions will be more apt to accept this view of the Church. Those who perceive the Eucharist as the real pressence of Christ will be more likely to accept this "incarnational" view, due to the fact that they are used to and comfortable with the concept of Christ being here with us today.
As the Church, let us do "incarnational mission," drawing the world into a real encounter with the presence of God. Let us show the world that the gospel is not a matter of mental ascent, but a participation with the Grace of God.
Are you a procrastinator? Do you put off the things you KNOW you need to do, things that often don't take up much time at all?
David Allen in his work Getting Things Done introduces an important concept that would benefit all of us in getting things done in our daily lives. This concept is the idea of the Two Minute Rule. The Two minute rule is the idea that if any task crops up that requires two minutes or less, you ought to do it right there and then.
And this concept makes a lot of sense, actually. At any moment in my life, I can likely spre two minutes to give towards most tasks. However, if I grow accustomed to leaving these small tasks off for later, they will accumulate into a monster load of work that I will dread getting done.
These tasks can be simple. They can be sending out a quick email, or shooting off a text message to a friend, or making a quick call to schedule an appointment. Whatever the task is, if its short and simple, it ought to get done right then and there.
In my own experience, I feel that getting things done with the "Two Minute Rule" makes me feel more productive and more in charge of my life. I forget to do the small things if I leave my tasks in a pending state. By doing it right then and there, I become more accountable, and more reliable for those who depend on me.
If this idea appeals to you, let me know! Drop a comment below and let me know what tasks you put off, but got done today with this method.