Getting Things Done – The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

“Getting Things Done” is a book that teaches you how to do just that:
get things done. If you’re like most people today, you’re busy trying
to juggle business, family and personal items all at once, and
sometimes a ball (or two) gets dropped.

In this book, David Allen provides a complete system to help. The
process itself, affectionately referred to as “GTD” by loyal
followers, is one of the most useful I’ve personally found.

The problem is almost universal: Knowing what you want or have to do
in life is one thing, but actually moving forward with it can be a
huge challenge. This is especially true for all of us that have never-
ending task lists and/or large, long-term projects on our plate.
Looking at the mile long task or project list can be overwhelming —
and cause you to simply not do anything at all. In this book, David
explains how to break projects, goals and tasks down into single
item, doable, actions.

Now this is an extremely simplified explanation of the GTD process,
but it is comprised of a few key items: The Project List, The
Someday/Maybe List, and the Next Actions list. Integrated into these
key items is: Inbox, Outbox and File Cabinet management.

While all of these components are integral and useful parts of the
entire system, the Next Actions list is where the majority of your
productivity takes place. In short, a Next Action is the very next
thing you need to do in order to move something forward. So instead
of looking at a project and wondering how you’ll ever be able to
handle it, you simply break off a very small chunk — the very next
thing that has to be done — and focus on that chunk by itself. Once
that chunk is completed, you then break off another — the next thing
that has to be done — and so on.

I won’t try to explain all of the intricacies — David did that with
over 250 pages in this book — but I will tell you this: David’s
system is extremely useful and easy to learn.

You can start reaping the rewards of “Getting Things Done” before
you’ve even finished the book. I’ve also found it very handy to keep
on the reference shelf for further consultation as I’m refining and
customizing my own enhanced productivity system.

I am a fan of practical, informative books with examples — this one
really fits the bill and I highly recommend it.

Title: Getting Things Done – The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Author: David Allen
Publisher: Viking/the Penguin Group
ISBN: 0-670-89924-0
Hardback, 267 pgs
List Price: $24.95 direct link

Kathy has been a successful freelance writer and small business owner
since 1997. Find her Palm Pilot articles and reviews at, Cool gadget articles and reviews at, and book reviews at

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