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
+ $4.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity Hardcover – January 8, 2001
|New from||Used from|
There is a newer edition of this item:
Books with Buzz
Discover the latest buzz-worthy books, from mysteries and romance to humor and nonfiction. Explore more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
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
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
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
When reading this edition, I had to do a lot of conversation from paper-based examples to digital equivalents. I started going all digital in the mid-1990's with a clunky laptop and 3.5 floppy disks. I was really shocked that people still used paper in 2010, 15 years after I stopped.
However, the principles are sound. You have to build a system that you can trust, or your brain will resume it's tasks of tracking and reviewing things in an in-effecient manner.
I'm listening to the audiobook version of this now and decided to pick up the 2015 eBook version since it's easier to bookmark and go back to sections that need to be re-read.
Finally , I recommend the ritual of reading this book once a year to keep the system fresh in your mind. Make that a repeating task in your task management systems ( Due, Omnifocus, etc ) .
If you're tired of making to do lists and never finishing them, this book will tell you pretty much every mistake you've made and are going to make if you keep your pattern. Learning to use Allen's system is worth it but very difficult. If you wish you were more efficient, this book will give you a system that you can base yours from. If you wish... stop wishing and get this book.
The system is essentially all about managing a massive to-do list that contains every "open loop" (a term the author uses to describe anything in your life that isn't the way that you want it to be). The goal is to get it all recorded in a way that is reliable as a source of useful reminders so that you don't feel the subconscious urge to keep reminding yourself of things that you can't currently act on (like remembering to buy milk when you're not at the store). The book goes into great detail about this and it goes to great lengths to provide relevant examples for every step of how to tackle your huge pile of "stuff" so that it is all accounted for in your system.
The book could have been much shorter. Especially toward the end, I felt as though it had become a bit of a slog to get through it all because I had gotten the idea already and had a working system but felt the need to read page after page of what seemed like filler text to pick out useful tidbits I might otherwise have missed. I understand that repetition is useful for memorization, but even having broken the reading of the book up over several months, I felt it repeated too much, too often.
I read the book using the Kindle format. For the most part, the Kindle format was fine. There was one section of one chapter that had incorrect formatting (it was entirely formatted as one very long header), but no glaring problems beyond that which were specific to it being in the Kindle format.
“Teaching you how to be maximally efficient and relaxed, whenever you need or want to be, was my main purpose in writing this book.”
~ David Allen from Getting Things Done
David Allen is brilliant
And Getting Things Done (aka GTD) rocks.
Although I don’t follow the GTD methodology precisely, David and his approach have been one of my primary inspirations for how I manage my time and life. I’m an OmniFocus guy and use that to GTD-ify my projects. His books, newsletter, and products are awesome. (I love this recording of a live workshop he gave and I have used this mini-credit card holder/notepad thingy to capture ideas/to-do’s/etc. for years.)
Let’s explore some of the Big Ideas:
1. Clear Heads - + New habits.
2. 2 Key Objectives - Capture + next actions.
3. Mind Like Water - Think: Still pond.
4. Make It Up. - Make it happen.
5. The 2-Minute Game - <2 minutes? Get ‘er done!
More goodness— including PhilosophersNotes on 300+ books in our *OPTIMIZE* membership program. Find out more at brianjohnson . me.