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Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done Paperback – December 28, 2004
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No one makes the challenges of productivity more understandable and manageable. (Rob Johnston, President of Leader to Leader Institute) This fundamentally different look at productivity makes David's book not just a good read, but something [to] truly live by. (Keith Yamashita, author of "Unstuck: A Tool For Yourself, Your Team, and Your World") These powerful and practical pointers for living a more productive life are as subtle and rich as they are simple. (Arianna Huffington)
About the Author
David Allen is president of The David Allen Company and has more than twenty years experience as a consultant and executive coach for such organizations as Microsoft, the Ford Foundation, L.L.Bean, and the World Bank. His work has been featured in Fast Company, Fortune, Atlantic Monthly, O, and many other publications.
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But "Getting Things Done" can be a very rocky read because Allen combines an explanation of his philosophy with a method for clearing the clutter from your mind.
"Ready For Anything," on the other hand, eschews the methodology and focuses instead on the philosophy. In 52 short chapters, Allen lays out his thinking about time-management, stress and productivity. In each of these short chapters Allen expounds on his philosophy. It is much easier to digest in this form than it is in "Getting Things Done."
Allen's basic thoughts aren't new or novel. If you're confused about what needs to be done, than what needs to be done won't get done. It's that simple. But Allen brings together basic principles in a new, easily understood way.
I see both books -- and frequent references to them -- as necessary and helpful. Allen's reputation is well justified and "Ready For Anything" is proof of it.
His style, too, is appealing. None of that bright, chirpy tone of many self-help books, and none of the "weightiness" of Steven Covey. You hear a real person talking.
Finally, there are the sidebar quotes, which are extremely wide-ranging and well-chosen.
That is the beauty of most things that work. The book is a lot like Dave Ramsey's financial advice. It's common sense, but organized in such a way to make you most effective.
That's what I like about this book. Each portion of his system is extremley intuitive and simple. You put it all together, and it makes you effective if you have the self discipline to do it.
One really good part of the book is that it accurately explains our "stress" as the vague feeling that, despite what you are working on, you should be doing something else, or, that you can't get everything done. He shows you how to organize your workflow so that you can make your daily (hourly) decisions on what to handle confidently - because you are aware of everything that you have to do, and where it ranks in your priorities.
I also like that his system is realistic and flexible, for those days that 3 fires hit you. I also like that it is not software or hardware (certain special calendars) specific. I have always been skeptical of organziational books that seem like they're just trying to hook you on selling you other merchandise. This guy's system can be done with a looseleaf notebook or a PDA. Whatever floats your boat.
2) get Ready for Anything 52 Principles.... I read a chapter from this book everymorning, after listening to GTD, and it has helped me through the most difficult part; maintaining enough enthusiam and focus to make it a way of life. The chapters are short to the point and filled with everyday, real life, easy to digest reminders on getting things done.
The fire is still burning well after the storm.