Getting Things Done – How it’s changed my life…

Many of you know I’m a fan of Getting Things Done… If you’ve ever felt like you don’t have enough time you might want to check it out. Some resources to get you started:

  • Curiosity has a quick “5-step summary“. A little simplistic, but if it gets you started it worth it.
  • The Wikipedia page on Getting Things Done is pretty solid.
  • And of course it might be worth reading the book… 🙂 It only takes about 2 hours and gives VERY clear steps to go from “completely out of control” to… well completely in control

Things I did because of it:

  • Trust your buckets – One of the author’s key premises is that the reason we feel overloaded is because we are keeping too much in our heads. This makes it hard to prioritize and also fills up our brain so we always feel busy even when we’re not. This book taught me to create ONE clear place to store my to do list that I trust and always use (not my email inbox, not two lists that I have to cross-check, one list) and a separate list for my “reference” things that I might want to look at later and a third for my “wish list”. Wish lists are things that are on my mind but not super high priority or actionable. I use Wunderlist and Evernote/Google Drive for these things, but really you can use anything that works for you.
  • Zero Inbox – It has tools to clean up your backlog and keep your inbox empty. Once you get into this place you realize just how much time/effort you waste re-reading emails that sit in your inbox, and you never miss an email again.
  • Clean desk – I did this for about 5 years at Gravity Switch. Not so much now that I don’t have a regular office, but like a clean inbox it clears your head.

Overall I’d credit this book with not only reducing my stress, but also making it so I no longer say “I don’t have any time”. It’s really put me in control of my life and made me understand that it’s not lack of time, it’s my lack of accountability.