Getting Things Done by David Allen

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
David Allen

Welcome to Getting Things Done
As you read or skim the book, you will no doubt be motivated to think about how you would and could implement what I’ll be talking about. You’ll be greatly served by actually doing what you read about, as it occurs. That will take your understanding to a much deeper and more significant level

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
Clarifying major goals and values, so the thinking goes, gives order, meaning, and direction to our work. In practice, however, the well-intentioned exercise of values thinking too often does not achieve its desired results. I have seen too many of these efforts fail, for one or more of the following three reasons: 1 | There is too much distraction at the day-to-day, hour-to-hour level of commitments to allow for appropriate focus on the higher levels

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
Ineffective personal organizational systems create huge subconscious resistance to undertaking even bigger projects and goals that will likely not be managed well, and that will in turn cause even more distraction and stress. 3 | When loftier levels and values actually are clarified, it raises the bar of our standards, making us notice that much more that needs changing. We are already having a serious negative reaction to the overwhelming number of things we have to do. And what created much of the work that’s on those lists in the first place? Our values!

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
An Important Exercise to Test This Model I suggest that you write down the project or situation that is most on your mind at this moment. What most bugs you, distracts you, or interests you, or in some other way consumes a large part of your conscious attention? It may be a project or problem that is really “in your face,” something you are being pressed to handle, or a situation you feel you must deal with sooner rather than later.

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
Got it? Good. Now, describe, in a single written sentence, your intended successful outcome for this problem or situation. In other words, what would need to happen for you to check this project off as “done”? It could be as simple as “Take the Hawaii vacation,” “Handle situation with customer X,” “Resolve college situation with Susan,” “Clarify new divisional management structure,” “Implement new investment strategy,” or “Research options for dealing with Manuel’s reading issue.” All clear? Great. Now write down the very next physical action required to move the situation forward. If you had nothing else to do in your life but get closure on this, what visible action would you take right now? Would you call or text someone? Write an e-mail? Take pen and paper and brainstorm about it? Surf the Web for data? Buy nails at the hardware store? Talk about it face-to-face with your partner, your assistant, your attorney, or your boss? What? Got the answer to that? Good. Was there any value for you in those two minutes of thinking? If you’re like the vast majority of people who complete that drill in our seminars, you’ll be experiencing at least a[…]

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
What probably happened is that you acquired a clearer definition of the outcome desired and the next action required. What did change is the most important element for clarity, focus, and peace of mind: how you are engaged with your world. But what created

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
Why Things Are on Your Mind Most often, the reason something is on your mind is that you want it to be different than it currently is, and yet: you haven’t clarified exactly what the intended outcome is; This consistent, unproductive preoccupation with all the things we have to do is the single largest consumer of time and energy. —Kerry Gleeson you haven’t decided what the very next physical action step is; and/or you haven’t put reminders of the outcome and the action required in a system you trust.

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
Even if you’ve already decided on the next step you’ll take to resolve a problem, your mind can’t let go until and unless you park a reminder in a place it knows you will, without fail, look. It will keep pressuring you about that untaken next step, usually when you can’t do anything about it, which will just add to your stress. Your

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
It’s when time disappears, and your attention is completely at your command. What you’re doing is exactly what you ought to be doing, given the whole spectrum of your commitments and interests. You’re fully available. You’re “on.”

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
How effective could the training program be, or the structure of your executives’ compensation package? How well could you manage your kids’ education? How close to perfect is the blog you’re writing? How motivating is the staff meeting you’re setting up? How healthy could you be? How functional is your department’s reorganization? And a last question: How much available data could be relevant to doing those projects “better”?

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
Most people I know have at least half a dozen things they’re trying to achieve or situations they’d like to improve right now, and even if they had the rest of their lives to try, they wouldn’t be able to finish these to perfection. You’re probably faced with the same dilemma. How good could that conference be?

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
Focusing on primary outcomes and values is a critical exercise, certainly. It provides needed criteria for making sometimes-difficult choices about what to stop doing, as well as what most ought to have our attention amid our excess of options. But it does not mean that there is less to do, or fewer challenges in getting the work done. Quite the contrary: it just ups the ante in the game, which still must be played day to day

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
There has been a missing piece in our culture of knowledge work: a system with a coherent set of behaviors and tools that functions effectively at the level at which work really happens. It must incorporate the results of big-picture thinking as well as the smallest of open details. It must manage multiple tiers of priorities. It must maintain control over hundreds of new inputs daily. It must save a lot more time and effort than are needed to maintain it. It must make it easier to get things done.

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
If anything at all positive happened for you in this little exercise, think about this: What changed? What happened to create that improved condition within your own experience? The situation itself is no further along, at least in the physical world. It’s certainly not finished yet.

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
Most people have a resistance to initiating the burst of energy that it will take to clarify the real meaning, for them, of something they have let into their world, and to decide what they need to do about it. We’re never really taught that we have to think about our work before we can do it; much of our daily activity is already defined for us by the undone and unmoved things staring at us when we come to work, or by the family to be fed, the laundry to be done, or the children to be dressed at home. Thinking in a concentrated manner to define desired outcomes and requisite next actions is something few people feel they have to do (until they have to). But in truth, it is the most effective means available for making wishes a reality.

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
Until those thoughts have been clarified and those decisions made, and the resulting data has been stored in a system that you absolutely know you will access and think about when you need to, your brain can’t give up the job. You can fool everyone else, but you can’t fool your own mind.

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
Typical things you will see on a to-do list: “Mom” “Bank” “Doctor” “Baby-sitter” “VP Marketing” etc. Looking at these often creates more stress than relief, because, though it is a valuable trigger for something that you’ve committed to do or decide something about, it still calls out psychologically, “Decide about me!” And if you do not have the energy or focus at the moment to think and decide, it will simply remind you that you are overwhelmed.

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
that “I don’t have time to ____” (fill in the blank) is understandable because many projects seem overwhelming—and are overwhelming because you can’t do a project at all! You can only do an action related to it. Many actions require only a minute or two, in the appropriate context, to move a project forward

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
There are more meaningful things to think about than your in-tray, but if your management of that level is not as efficient as it could be, it’s like trying to swim in baggy clothing.

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
There is no real way to achieve the kind of relaxed control I’m promising if you keep things only in your head. As you’ll discover, the individual behaviors described in this book are things you’re already doing. The big difference between what I do and what others do is that I capture and organize 100 percent of my stuff in and with objective tools at hand, not in my mind. And that applies to everything—little or big, personal or professional, urgent or not. Everything.*

Chapter 1: A New Practice for a New Reality
I try to make intuitive choices based on my options, instead of trying to think about what those options are. I

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
Minimize the Number of Capture Locations You should have as many in-trays as you need and as few as you can get by with. You need this function to be available to you in every context, since things you’ll want to capture may show up almost anywhere. If you have too many collection zones, however, you won’t be able to process them easily or consistently.

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
Empty the Capture Tools Regularly The final success factor for capturing should be obvious: if you don’t empty and process the stuff you’ve collected, your tools aren’t serving any function other than the storage of amorphous material. Emptying the contents does not mean that you have to finish what’s there; it just means that you have to decide more specifically what it is and what should be done with it, and if it’s still unfinished, organize it into your system. You must get it out of the container. You don’t leave it or put it back into “in”! Not emptying your in-tray is like having garbage cans

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
I have discovered that one of the major reasons many people haven’t had a lot of success with getting organized is simply that they have tried to do all five steps at one time. Most, when they sit down to make a list, are trying to collect the “most important things” in some order that reflects priorities and sequences, without setting out many (or any) real actions to take. But if you don’t decide what needs to be done about your assistant’s birthday, because it’s “not that important” right now, that open loop will take up energy and prevent you from having a totally effective, clear focus on what’s important.

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
If you’re still trying to keep track of too many things in your mental space, you likely won’t be motivated to use and empty your in-trays with integrity. Most people are relatively careless about these tools because they know they don’t represent discrete, whole systems anyway; there’s an incomplete set of things in their in-tray and an incomplete set in their mind, and they’re not getting a real payoff from either one, so their thinking goes.

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
These collection tools should become part of your lifestyle. Keep them close by so no matter where you are you can collect a potentially valuable thought—think of them as being as indispensable as your toothbrush or your driver’s license or your glasses. The sense of trust that nothing possibly useful will get lost will give you the freedom to have many more good ideas.

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
The in-tray, especially for paper and e-mail, is the best that many people can do in terms of organization—at least they know that somewhere in there is a reminder of something they still have to do. Unfortunately, that safety net is lost when the piles get out of control or the inventory of e-mails gets too extensive to be viewed on one screen.

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
Teaching them the item-by-item thinking required to get their collection containers empty is perhaps the most critical improvement I have made for virtually all the people I’ve worked with

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
What’s the Next Action? This is the critical question for anything you’ve captured; if you answer it appropriately, you’ll have the key substantive thing to organize. The “next action” is the next physical, visible activity that needs to be engaged in, in order to move the current reality of this thing toward completion. Some examples of next actions might be

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
Call Fred re: name and number of the repair shop he mentioned. Draft thoughts for the budget-meeting agenda. Talk to Angela about the filing system we need to set up. Research Internet for local watercolor classes

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
Someday/Maybe It can be useful and inspiring to maintain an ongoing list of things you might want to do at some point but not now. This is the “parking lot” for projects that would be impossible to move on at present but that you don’t want to forget about entirely. You’d like to be reminded of the possibility at regular intervals. Typical Partial Someday/Maybe List Get a sailboat Learn Spanish

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
These would be lists such as: Books to read Wines to taste Recipes to try Movies to rent Weekend trips to take Things my kids might like to do Seminars to take Web sites to surf These kinds of reminders can greatly expand your options for creative exploration. Having an organizational tool that allows you to easily make lists such as these, ad hoc, is quite worthwhile. Tickler System A second type of things to incubate are those you don’t want or need to be reminded of until some designated time in the future. A most

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
At that moment there are four criteria you can apply, in this order: context, time available, energy available, and priority. The

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
time-specific actions; day-specific actions; and day-specific information

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
The way I look at it, the calendar should be sacred territory. If you write something there, it must get done that day or not at all. The only rewriting should be for changed appointments.

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
That said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with creating a quick, informal, short list of “if I have time, I’d really like to . . .” kinds of things, picked from your Next Actions inventory. It just should not be confused with your “have-tos,” and it should be treated lightly enough to discard or change quickly as the inevitable surprises of the day unfold.

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
Any longer-than-two-minute, non-delegatable action you have identified needs to be tracked somewhere. “Call Jim Smith re: budget meeting,” “E-mail family update to friends,” and “Draft ideas re: the annual sales conference” are all the kinds of action reminders that need to be kept in appropriate lists, to be assessed as options for what we will do at any point in time.

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
list periodically if you’re going to get the most value from it. I suggest you include a scan of the contents in your Weekly Review (see page 50)

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
These items are of the nature of “projects I might want to do, but not now . . . but I’d like to be reminded of them regularly.” You must review this

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
Your calendar can serve the same function. You might remind yourself on your calendar for March 15, for example, that your taxes are due in a month; or for September 12, that Swan Lake will be presented by the Bolshoi at the Civic Auditorium in six weeks.

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
Most people don’t have a really complete system, and they get no real payoff from reviewing things for just that reason: their overview isn’t total. They still have a vague sense that something may be missing. That’s why the rewards to be gained from implementing this whole process are exponential: the more complete the system is, the more you’ll trust it. And the more you trust it, the more complete you’ll be motivated to keep it. The Weekly Review is a master key to maintaining that standard.

Chapter 2: Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering Workflow
What do you do the last week before you leave on a big trip? You clean up, close up, clarify, organize, and renegotiate all your agreements with yourself and others. You do this so you can relax and be present on the beach, on the golf course, or on the slopes, with nothing else on your mind. I suggest you do this weekly instead of yearly, so you can bring this kind of “being present” to your everyday life.

Chapter 3: Getting Projects Creatively Under Way: The Five Phases of Project Planning
Purpose It never hurts to ask the why question. Almost anything you’re currently doing can be enhanced and even galvanized by more scrutiny at this top level of focus. Why are you going to your next meeting? What’s the purpose of your task?

Chapter 3: Getting Projects Creatively Under Way: The Five Phases of Project Planning
Here are just some of the benefits of asking why: It defines success. It creates decision-making criteria. It aligns resources. It motivates. It clarifies focus. It expands options.

Chapter 3: Getting Projects Creatively Under Way: The Five Phases of Project Planning
And if it’s just you, attempting to come up with a good idea before defining your purpose, creating a vision, and collecting lots of initial bad ideas is likely to give you a case of creative constipation.

Chapter 3: Getting Projects Creatively Under Way: The Five Phases of Project Planning
I know, based upon thousands of hours spent in many offices with many sophisticated people, that the why question cannot be ignored. When people complain to me about having too many meetings, I have to ask, “What is the purpose of the meetings?” When they ask, “Who should I invite to the planning session?” I have to ask, “What’s the purpose of the planning session?” When the dilemma is whether to stay connected with work and e-mail on a vacation or not, I have to ask, “What’s the primary purpose of the vacation?” Until we have the answer to my questions, there’s no possible way to come up with an appropriate response to theirs.

Chapter 3: Getting Projects Creatively Under Way: The Five Phases of Project Planning
Is your purpose clear and specific enough? If you’re truly experiencing the benefits of a purpose focus—motivation, clarity, decision-making criteria, alignment, and creativity—then your purpose probably is specific enough. But many purpose statements are too vague to produce such results. “To have a good team,” for example, might be too broad or vague a goal. After all, what constitutes a “good team”? Is it a group of people who are highly motivated, collaborating in healthy ways, and taking initiative? Or is it a team that comes in under budget? In other words, if you don’t really know when you’ve met your purpose or when you’re off track, you don’t have a viable directive. The question, “How will I know when this is off purpose?” must have a clear answer

Chapter 3: Getting Projects Creatively Under Way: The Five Phases of Project Planning
It’s easy to envision something happening if it has happened before or you have had experience with similar successes. It can be quite a challenge, however, to identify with images of success if they represent new and foreign territory—that is, if you have few reference points about what an event might actually look like and little experience of your own ability to make it happen.

Chapter 3: Getting Projects Creatively Under Way: The Five Phases of Project Planning
One of the most powerful life skills, and one of the most important to hone and develop for both professional and personal success, is creating clear outcomes. This is not as self-evident as it may sound. We need to constantly define (and redefine) what we’re trying to accomplish on many different levels, and consistently reallocate resources toward getting these tasks complete as effectively and efficiently as possible

Chapter 3: Getting Projects Creatively Under Way: The Five Phases of Project Planning
Few people can hold their focus on a topic for more than a couple of minutes without some objective structure and tool or trigger to help them. Pick a big project you have going right now and just try to think of nothing else for more than thirty seconds. This is pretty hard to do unless you have a pen and paper in hand and use one of those “cognitive artifacts” as the anchor for your ideas. Then you can stay with it for hours.

Chapter 4: Getting Started: Setting Up the Time, Space, and Tools
The ideal time for me to work with someone in implementing this methodology is on a weekend or holiday, because the chance of outside disturbance is minimal then. If I work with someone on a typical workday, we first make sure that no meetings are scheduled and only emergency interruptions are allowed; phone calls are routed to voice mail or logged by assistants for review and handling during a break. I don’t recommend using after-hours for this work

Chapter 4: Getting Started: Setting Up the Time, Space, and Tools
Keep in mind, though, that the tool you use will not give you stress-free productivity. That is something you create by implementing the GTD method. The structure you incorporate will be extremely important in how you express and implement the process, but it is not a substitute for it. A great hammer doesn’t make a great carpenter; but a great carpenter will always want to have a great hammer.

Chapter 4: Getting Started: Setting Up the Time, Space, and Tools
When considering whether to get and use any organizing tool, and if so, which one, keep in mind that all you really need to do is manage lists. You’ve got to be able to create a list on the run and review it easily and as regularly as you need to. Once you know what to put on the lists and how to use them, the medium really doesn’t matter. Just go for simplicity, speed, and fun.

Chapter 4: Getting Started: Setting Up the Time, Space, and Tools
You will resist the whole process of capturing information if your reference systems are not fast, functional, and fun.

Chapter 4: Getting Started: Setting Up the Time, Space, and Tools
Purge Your Files at Least Once a Year Cleaning house in your files regularly keeps them from going stale and seeming like a black hole, and it also gives you the freedom to keep anything on a whim “in case you might need it

Chapter 6: Clarifying: Getting “In” to Empty
Emergency Scanning Is Not Clarifying Most people get to their in-tray or their e-mail and look for the most urgent, most fun, easiest, or most interesting stuff to deal with first. “Emergency scanning” is fine and necessary sometimes (I do it regularly, too). Maybe you’ve just come back from an off-site meeting and have to be on a long conference call in fifteen minutes. So you check to make sure there are no land mines about to explode and to see if your client has e-mailed back to you OK’ing the big proposal

Chapter 6: Clarifying: Getting “In” to Empty
There’s nothing to do on this now, but there might be later.” Examples of this would be: An e-mail announcing a chamber of commerce breakfast with a guest speaker you might want to hear, but it’s two weeks away, and you’re not sure yet if you’ll be at home then or out of town on a business trip. An agenda for a board meeting you’ve been

Chapter 6: Clarifying: Getting “In” to Empty
What do you do with these kinds of things? There are two options that could work: Write them on a Someday/Maybe list. Put a reminder of them on your calendar or in a tickler file.
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Chapter 6: Clarifying: Getting “In” to Empty
Remember that these are physical, visible activities. Many people think they’ve determined the next action when they get it down to “set meeting.” But that’s not the next action, because it’s not descriptive of physical behavior. How do you set a meeting? Well, it could be with a phone call or an e-mail, but to whom? Decide. If you don’t decide now, you’ll still have to decide at some other point, and what this process is designed to do is actually get you to finish the thinking exercise about this item. If you haven’t identified the next physical action required to kick-start it, there will be a psychological gap every time you think about it even vaguely. You’ll tend to resist noticing it, which leads to procrastination. When

Chapter 6: Clarifying: Getting “In” to Empty
Top Item First

Chapter 7: Organizing: Setting Up the Right Buckets
In other words, your organization system is not something that you’ll necessarily create all at once, in a vacuum. It will evolve as you process your stuff and test out whether you have put everything in the best place for you
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Chapter 7: Organizing: Setting Up the Right Buckets
What many want to do, however, based on perhaps old habits of writing daily to-do lists, is put actions on the calendar that they think they’d really like to get done next Monday, say, but that actually might not, and that might then have to be moved to following days. Resist this impulse. You need to trust your calendar as sacred territory, reflecting the exact hard edges of your day’s commitments, which should be noticeable at a glance while you’re on the run. That’ll be much easier if the only things in there are those that you absolutely have to get done, or know about, on that day. When the calendar is relegated to its proper role in organizing, the majority of the actions that you need to do are left in the category of “as soon as possible, against all the other things I have to do.” Organizing
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Chapter 7: Organizing: Setting Up the Right Buckets
Organizing “Waiting For” Manage the commitments of others before their avoidance creates a crisis. Like reminders of the actions you need to do, reminders of all the things that you’re waiting to get back from or get done by others have to be sorted and grouped. You won’t necessarily be tracking discrete action steps here, but more often final deliverables or projects that others are responsible for, such as the tickets you’ve ordered from the theater, the scanner that’s coming for the office, the OK on the proposal from your client, and so on. When the next action on something is up to someone else, you don’t need an action reminder, just a trigger about what you’re waiting for and from whom. Your role is to review that list as often as you need to and assess whether you ought to be taking an action, such as checking the status or lighting a fire in some way under the project. For many people, especially those in managerial or supervisory positions, getting this inventory of unfulfilled commitments that we care about from others captured, current, complete, and reviewed creates tremendous relief and improved focus going forward.

Chapter 7: Organizing: Setting Up the Right Buckets
You’ll get a great feeling when you know that your Waiting For list is the complete inventory of everything you care about that other people are supposed to be doing.

Chapter 7: Organizing: Setting Up the Right Buckets
Distributing action triggers in a folder, on lists, and/or in an e-mail system is perfectly OK, as long as you review all of the categories to which you’ve entrusted your triggers equally, as required. You don’t want things lurking in the recesses of your systems and not being used for their intended purpose: reminding you. The digital world can be dangerous in this regard, because as soon as data is offscreen, it can tend to disappear as a viable prompt.

Chapter 7: Organizing: Setting Up the Right Buckets
There’s no perfect system for tracking all your projects and subprojects the same way. You just need to know you have projects and, if they have associated components, where to find the appropriate reminders for them

Chapter 7: Organizing: Setting Up the Right Buckets
categories include: Things to get or build for your home Hobbies to take up Skills to learn Creative expressions to explore Clothes and accessories to buy Toys (hi-tech and otherwise!) to acquire Trips to take Organizations to join Service projects to contribute to Things to see and do

Chapter 7: Organizing: Setting Up the Right Buckets
Here are a few of the myriad things you should consider inserting: Triggers for activating projects Events you might want to participate in Decision catalysts

Chapter 7: Organizing: Setting Up the Right Buckets
You may also be surprised to find that some of the things you write on the list will actually come to pass, almost without your making any conscious effort to make them happen. If you acknowledge the power of the imagination to foster changes in perception and performance, it’s easy to see how having a Someday/Maybe list out in front of your conscious mind could potentially add many wonderful adventures to your life and work

Chapter 7: Organizing: Setting Up the Right Buckets
The value of someday/maybe disappears if you don’t put your conscious awareness back onto it with some consistency.

Chapter 9: Engaging: Making the Best Action Choices
Additionally there are many times when you have been head down in some mentally intensive endeavor for a couple of hours, and you’d like to shift your focus and get some easy wins. Then it’s great to “snack” on your action lists for some simple things to complete easily and quickly. Change a restaurant reservation, call a friend and wish him or her happy birthday, order birdseed, or just walk next door to the market or pharmacy for something on your Errands list.

Chapter 9: Engaging: Making the Best Action Choices
I recommend that you always keep an inventory of things that need to be done that require very little mental or creative horsepower. When you’re in one of those low-energy states, do those things. Casual reading (magazines, articles, catalogs, Web surfing), contact data that needs to be inputted, file purging, backing up your computer, even just watering your plants and filling your stapler—these are some of the myriad things that you need or want to deal with sometime anyway.

Chapter 9: Engaging: Making the Best Action Choices
The primary reason to work from this bottom-up direction is that it clears your inner decks to begin with, allowing your creative attention to focus on the more meaningful and elusive visions that you may need to challenge yourself to identify. Also, this particular method has a high degree of flexibility and freedom, and it includes a thinking and organizing practice that is universal

Chapter 9: Engaging: Making the Best Action Choices
Knowing you have that ability will give you permission to play a bigger game. It’s truly empowering.

Chapter 9: Engaging: Making the Best Action Choices
Ground The first thing to do is make sure your action lists are complete, which in itself can be quite a task. Those who focus on gathering and objectifying all of those items discover that there are many (often of some importance) they’ve forgotten, misplaced, or just not recognized.

Chapter 9: Engaging: Making the Best Action Choices
Aside

Chapter 9: Engaging: Making the Best Action Choices
Horizon 1 Finalize your Projects list. Does it truly capture all the commitments you have that will require more than one action to get done? That will define the boundaries of the kind of week-to- week operational world you’re in and allow you to relax your thinking for longer intervals

Chapter 11: The Power of the Capturing Habit
There are much bigger fish to fry than worrying about leaks in the system. I need to trust that any request or relevant

Chapter 11: The Power of the Capturing Habit
When people with whom you interact notice that without fail you receive, process, and organize in an airtight manner the exchanges and agreements they have with you, they begin to trust you in a unique way. More significantly, you incorporate a level of self-confidence in your engagement with your world that money cannot buy. Such is the power of capturing placeholders for anything that is incomplete or unprocessed in your life. It noticeably enhances your mental well-being and improves the quality of your communications and relationships, both personally and professionally

Chapter 11: The Power of the Capturing Habit
When will you know how much you have left in your head to capture? Only when there’s nothing left. If some part of you is even vaguely aware that you don’t have it all, you can’t really know what percentage you have collected. How will you know when there’s nothing left? When nothing else shows up as a reminder in your mind.

Chapter 12: The Power of the Next-Action Decision
The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small, manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.

Chapter 12: The Power of the Next-Action Decision
When you start to make things happen, you begin to believe that you can make things happen. And that makes things happen.

Chapter 13: The Power of Outcome Focusing
By this point you’ve probably noticed that Getting Things Done is not some new technology or invention—it simply makes explicit the principles at work within what we all do implicitly. But with that awareness, you can then leverage those principles consciously to create more elegant results.

Chapter 13: The Power of Outcome Focusing
The challenge will continually be to apply the two essential elements of this art: defining what done means and what doing looks like. This is not always that easy, especially when dealing with some of the more subtle and sublime areas of your life experience; but without challenges, you would never learn or grow.

Chapter 13: The Power of Outcome Focusing
are inserted, tremendous benefit ensues. The feedback

Chapter 15: The Path of GTD Mastery
If you are sincere about implementing Getting Things Done, it’s actually not that difficult to get started, as I’ve tried to assure you with the instructions given in the earlier sections of the book. At some point, though, the rest of your reality will inevitably come flooding at you full force, and if the new practices haven’t yet had time to root themselves in your behavior patterns, it’s relatively easy to get blown off course.

Chapter 15: The Path of GTD Mastery
Making time for the Weekly Review, if it’s not been instituted as a habit, can be a daunting challenge

Chapter 15: The Path of GTD Mastery
The good news is that it’s as easy to get back into your productive groove as it may have been to get knocked out of it. It simply requires revisiting the basics: get a pen and paper and empty your head again; clean up your lists of actions and projects; identify and add new projects and next actions to bring your lists current; clean up what’s leaked outside your system.