- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised ed. edition (March 17, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143126563
- ISBN-13: 978-0143126560
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2,646 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity Paperback – March 17, 2015
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of 2017 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
With first-chapter allusions to martial arts, "flow," "mind like water," and other concepts borrowed from the East (and usually mangled), you'd almost think this self-helper from David Allen should have been called Zen and the Art of Schedule Maintenance.
Not quite. Yes, Getting Things Done offers a complete system for downloading all those free-floating gotta-do's clogging your brain into a sophisticated framework of files and action lists--all purportedly to free your mind to focus on whatever you're working on. However, it still operates from the decidedly Western notion that if we could just get really, really organized, we could turn ourselves into 24/7 productivity machines. (To wit, Allen, whom the New Economy bible Fast Company has dubbed "the personal productivity guru," suggests that instead of meditating on crouching tigers and hidden dragons while you wait for a plane, you should unsheathe that high-tech saber known as the cell phone and attack that list of calls you need to return.)
As whole-life-organizing systems go, Allen's is pretty good, even fun and therapeutic. It starts with the exhortation to take every unaccounted-for scrap of paper in your workstation that you can't junk, The next step is to write down every unaccounted-for gotta-do cramming your head onto its own scrap of paper. Finally, throw the whole stew into a giant "in-basket"
That's where the processing and prioritizing begin; in Allen's system, it get a little convoluted at times, rife as it is with fancy terms, subterms, and sub-subterms for even the simplest concepts. Thank goodness the spine of his system is captured on a straightforward, one-page flowchart that you can pin over your desk and repeatedly consult without having to refer back to the book. That alone is worth the purchase price. Also of value is Allen's ingenious Two-Minute Rule: if there's anything you absolutely must do that you can do right now in two minutes or less, then do it now, thus freeing up your time and mind tenfold over the long term. It's commonsense advice so obvious that most of us completely overlook it, much to our detriment; Allen excels at dispensing such wisdom in this useful, if somewhat belabored, self-improver aimed at everyone from CEOs to soccer moms (who we all know are more organized than most CEOs to start with). --Timothy Murphy --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Allen, a management consultant and executive coach, provides insights into attaining maximum efficiency and at the same time relaxing whenever one needs or wants to. Readers learn that there is no single means for perfecting organizational efficiency or productivity; rather, the author offers tools to focus energies strategically and tactically without letting anything fall through the cracks. He provides tips, techniques, and tricks for implementation of his workflow management plan, which has two basic components: capture all the things that need to get done into a workable, dependable system; and discipline oneself to make front-end decisions with an action plan for all inputs into that system. In short, do it (quickly), delegate it (appropriately), or defer it. While an infomercial for the author's consulting practice, this road map for organizational efficiency may help many who have too much to do in too little time, both professionally and in their personal lives. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
This new edition goes into more theory, but that makes it much harder to use as a concise guide of how to get things done.
I loved the first edition, but the 2015 edition was tedious to read and I didn't have the patience to get through it. Too bad he ruined a good thing. It would have been better if he'd added a companion book with all the non-actionable theory, or separate chapters.
What should be put down in this structure are immediate things that are actionable, what one can do next -- as opposed to generalities, which require more thought. A key aspect of course is breaking down a larger task into these smaller actions.
Allen describes a structure of immediate lists to look at, calendars, todo lists, reference lists and so forth. Other bins include an incubator list for long term tasks and a “waiting for” list, which has tasks that are pending from other people to be completed. This seems like a sensible arrangement but I suspect that other people will have somewhat different structures. My impression is that the important idea is not letting immediate short term distractions cloud one's focus on a task, and tackling things sequentially in little chunks.
Allen talks a lot about avoiding infinite loops. He mentions that a long term plan is not something that goes on someone's tickler list but rather something that is broken up into many actions as opposed to only a few. Practically he discusses how in meetings, before the end of the meeting one really should bring up the question of what is the immediate next action that is a follow up from the meeting rather than just talking in generalities.
In the book Allen talks about the importance of having few distractions to really concentrate on the task at hand and one way of achieving fewer distractions is by designing a system to capture all of one's daily input into a well-designed inbox format. He talks about how if this is well done one does not have the guilt of constantly thinking about things that have to be done nor does one have to have the mental load of things constantly popping into one's mind -- given ones assurance that everything is captured in this universal inbox. He contrasts a company that has a way of capturing day-to-day tasks as smoothly running without people being interrupted with one that is constantly crisis and event driven.
I read this book before the new 2015 edition came out. This new edition of course needs to be much updated for the new digital reality. The 2001 edition seems quaint, with its discussion of the correct file folders to use and how to organize things correctly in a close by file cabinet. It makes reference to a Palm Pilot but this seems almost prehistoric in today's age.
That said, I really felt that the lessons in the original 2001 edition were quite timeless. One could easily see how they morphed into using email programs such as Gmail and perhaps even influenced the design of these systems. In fact, it is fascinating trying to connect a lot of the concepts in this book with the modern world of cloud computing, gmail and various online task sites. Many of these online productivity tools mimic very closely a lot of the ideas in Allen's work, particularly gmail's immediate function for archiving things from your inbox and putting various tags and stars on them. It fits very well into a system of de-cluttering your inbox quickly but then coming back to selected bits.
Overall I would highly recommend this book, I think it is a good read.
I purchased the original in March 2001 for use with my Palm Pilot. I subsequently purchased the Outlook add-in around 2007; and my company had a GTD consultant onsite and provided us access to GTD Connect in 2008. I've found the workflow and methodology useful. The underlying original strength of GTD is that the book not only states "what" has to happen, but through a specific methodology also "how" to make it happen.
I was so excited about this 2015 update, with my expectations of entry to the digital age that I pre-purchased in Nov 2014. Just received the book today and I'm sorry to say that David is essentially punting on digital-age specifics in favor of generalities. Further, David admits that this is not a rewrite (though he did "retype the original manuscript").
I'm actually fine with the retype vs rewrite though - as he states, the core ideas and methodology of GTD remain the same. But the reason I went to GTD in the first place was that it provided specific workflows incorporating paper and pencil and Outlook and PDAs - he had done the work to figure out what works and I was happy to adopt his recommendations.
Since the original release there has been a profound shift in the use of technology - hardware, software, mobile and cloud. 2015 finds us in much more diversified and integrated data input/output environment than what the Palm and MSOffice suite offered in 2000, and so there is a very good reason to update the "how" part of the equation to manage this new information capture and task-list ecosystem.
In the new edition, the author provides some digital guideline feature specifics (software outline program should allow for sub-headings, expand/collapse ability), even more generalities, but mostly just derails the digital conversation of any 'how' by sweeping particulars under the carpet with a few ambiguities of "what" needs to be done, not "how" to do it, "Make sure you create comfort with the [computer] applications ["used for developing and capturing project plans and collateral"]. It will behoove you to do regular reviews and updating of this content and keep it current with consistent purging and reorganizing."
Punting on digital specifics of today's workflow world because, in his words, “the rate of innovation in this area means that any specific software program can easily be outdated, upgraded, or undermined by the next new thing", and that he has admittedly "hopped out of the fray, opting instead to provide a general model for how to evaluate the usefulness of any tool" is, for me, not useful. I *know* there is a plethora of digital tool options, and I wanted him to do the work and figure out what works. Fine, publish a revision when the tools change, I'll buy it. That's why he and his team get paid the big bucks. But if I wanted to spend my time figuring the complexity of tools out myself I'd have done that from day one. To me, this would be like Lonely Planets back-peddling on restaurant and hotel reviews. "Oh, there are just sooo many these days, let us tell you what to look for instead,,,, try to find a restaurant with lots of people in it, and look for a hotel with clean sheets." Uh, yea.
The original methodology and task-driven workflow remains true in the 2015 book as in the original. The "psycap" and other psychological drivers and underpinnings are interesting in the new book. But whereas I was confident that I had a pretty holistic system set-up as a result of the original book (and actually, as much a result of a smaller digital footprint, and I know I'm not the exception), I now feel, with this "completely updated" edition, that I have half a system with a digital divide, a "black hole" as the author even alludes.
I understand all the high reviews, the methodology is still very good as described, and yes, freshened. My rating of this book is as a version updated for what we would all agree is an increasingly digital world and unfortunately, whereas the "what" might be explained, I find the book lacking on the "how". I agree that it has helped me refine my thinking about how to use GTD in the digital age,,, i.e., I now think that I cannot rely just on this one book as a holistic model of how to get it all done ;)
For anyone new to GTD, go ahead and buy this 2015 version, or save some money and buy the paperback original for a $1.50 and you'll learn the essentials that have not changed. For anyone versed in GTD, I offer David's statement from this new book: "...whenever anyone loops back through the material, they invariably have a response like, "Oh my God, this is totally different information and perspective" than what they had remembered from earlier, "it was a totally different book each time!" So if you have an earlier GTD book? Just reread it and you'll likely get the same "new" experience and fresh perspective as from this 2015 book, particularly given that there really are no digital age specifics that many of us were hoping for.
If you've not read the book and feel overwhelmed with all there is to accomplish on a daily basis then the purchase of this book needs no further thought. If you've read GTD in the past and are looking for a refresher this new edition is absolutely worth the cost of the Kindle version.
The physical book itself is not worth the price as it is VERY cheaply made. After getting through half the book the cover started to delaminate due to its thinness. Equally thin are the pages themselves making it clear the book will not hold up to multiple reads which is essential for this subject matter.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's OK, but it takes a lot to read it.