Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

In today's world, yesterday's methods just don't work. In Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to tens of thousands of people across the country. Allen's premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our mi...

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Title:Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Author:David Allen
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Edition Language:English

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity Reviews

  • Melynda

    I'm a big geek, and here's proof (if you needed it). I learned about GTD from Merlin Mann's 43 Folders site, and became an instant convert. Because I love folders, lists, diagrams, flow charts, of course, but most of all because with GTD, you have to have a labeller. I love my labeller. I love making labels for my files, and admiring them in their serried ranks, all neat and labelly.

    And I do actually seem to be getting more done, even when I factor in all the time I spend labelling.

  • Saud Omar

    بالنسبة لي, هذا الكتاب هو ثالث أفضل كتاب قرأته في مجال تطوير الذات, بعد العادات السبع, وإدارة الأولويات لستيفن كوفي.

    في الحقيقة اني ترددت قبل كتابة هذه المراجعة, وسبب ذلك اني طبقت أفكار الكتاب لفترة ليست بالقصيرة ( وليست بالطويلة أيضاً ) وأود أن أشارك القراء الكثير من الارشادات والتنبيهات والحيل لتطبيق هذه الأفكار, وكتابة مراجعة في" قود ريدز" ربما لن تسمح بكل هذا .. لذلك قررت أن أكتب هنا عن هذا الكتاب باختصار, وان اضيف المراجعة المفصلة لا حقا في مدونتي.

    في البداية دعوني أنبّه أن للكتاب ترجمة عربية

    بالنسبة لي, هذا الكتاب هو ثالث أفضل كتاب قرأته في مجال تطوير الذات, بعد العادات السبع, وإدارة الأولويات لستيفن كوفي.

    في الحقيقة اني ترددت قبل كتابة هذه المراجعة, وسبب ذلك اني طبقت أفكار الكتاب لفترة ليست بالقصيرة ( وليست بالطويلة أيضاً ) وأود أن أشارك القراء الكثير من الارشادات والتنبيهات والحيل لتطبيق هذه الأفكار, وكتابة مراجعة في" قود ريدز" ربما لن تسمح بكل هذا .. لذلك قررت أن أكتب هنا عن هذا الكتاب باختصار, وان اضيف المراجعة المفصلة لا حقا في مدونتي.

    في البداية دعوني أنبّه أن للكتاب ترجمة عربية بعنوان ( كيفية إنجاز الأشياء ) وللأسف لا أستطيع ان اوصي بها لأني لم أطلع عليها, لكني أظن أنها من إصدرات جرير, وإصدرات جرير عموما ليست سيئة للحد الذي لا تفهم فيه شيئا مما تقرأ, وليست جيدة للحد الذي يسمح لك بالقراءة من دون معاناة سد ثغرات الترجمة .. الخيار لكم.

    صدر هذا الكتاب في عام 2002 وتتطورت شعبيته بين قراء ومتابعي كتب تطوير الذات إلى درجة انه صار ظاهرة هستيريه في مجاله, حتى أن مجلة "وايرد" المختصه بالتقنيه وصفته بانه صار ديناً في عصر المعلومات, ومجلة "التايم" أفردت له مقالاً كاملاً واصفته بانه كتاب تطوير الذات لهذا العصر, هذا بالإضافة إلى أن أفكار الكتاب صارت معايير أساسية لكل الأدوات الإنتاجية ( تقاويم, قوائم مهام, ألخ ).

    الكتاب عبارة عن نظام سهل وبسيط جدا الغرض منه – كما يقول المؤلف ديفيد ألين – زيادة الإنتاجية مع تقليل الضغط النفسي.

    نظام "كيفية إنجاز الأشياء" – أو ما اشتهر اختصاراً ( بنظام الجي تي دي ) - يتكون من خمس أجزاء:

    1 – جمع الأشياء: وفي هذه المرحلة تجمع كل الأشياء التي تريد ان تقوم بها, وتضعها في مكان واحد.

    2 – المعالجة: في هذه المرحلة تحدد ماهية الأشياء التي جمعتها بالضبط.

    3 – التنظيم: هنا تضع كل مهمة في قائمة محددة.

    4 – المراجعة: هنا تراجع قوائم المهام التي لديك.

    5 – التنفيذ: في هذه المرحلة تنفذ المهام.

    ألا تبدو لك هذه الخطوات من الوهلة الأولى بسيطة وبديهية – وربما ساذجة - إلى درجة لا تحتاج كل هذه الضجة؟

    نعم هي خطوات بسيطة جدا لكن - وهنا "لكن" كبيرة – حين تنفذها تحدث أمور مدهشة لا تصدق؛ وهذا هو سر شعبية وسحر الكتاب. في الحقيقة أنه لكي أكون اكثر دقة, فسر شعبية الكتاب ليس هذا فحسب, بل كون هذه الافكار ممكنة التطبيق على سياقات كثيرة, فمثلاً أنا أعدت ترتيب ملفات الكمبيوتر, وترتيب مفضلة مواقعي, وأوراقي الدراسية ( هذا بالطبع بالإضافة لترتيب طريقة أدائي لمهامي اليومية ) بناء على أفكاره. في الواقع, أنت لن تجد في الكتاب أي شيء بخصوص ترتيب هذه الأشياء, لكنك سوف تتعلم طريقة ديفيد ألين على النطاق الواسع ( وهو إنجاز المهام اليومية ) ومن ثم سوف تجد انك تستطيع تطبيقها على الكثير من المجالات حولك.

    الكأس المقدسة لهذه الكتاب, ولهذه الخطوات, هي حاله يسميها ديفيد ألين ( عقل مثل الماء ) فالغرض من كل هذه "الهلليله" هي أن يكون عقلك, مجازاً, مثل الماء. لو كان ديفيد ألين بوذا فحالة ( عقل مثل الماء ) هي ( نيرفانا ) كتاب كيفية إنجاز الأشياء.

    حالة ( عقل مثل الماء ) تعني ان تفرّغ عقلك من كل الأشياء التي فيه, أن تستخدم عقلك بأكبر صورة ممكنة للتركيز والتفكير وليس للتذكر والتخزين, وأن تتصرف بحسب ما يمليه الموقف بالضبط من دون أي مبالغة أو تقليل في ردة الفعل.

    لا بد أنه مر عليك مثل هذا الكلام في كتب أو محاضرات تطوير الذات الأخرى, ولا بد أنك لم تحاول منع نفسك من تصنيفه كهراء طازج .. لكن محاولة ديفيد ألين لتحقيق هذا الهدف هي محاولة جادة وأصيلة .. النظام مصمم بالفعل بطريقة ليفرّغ عقلك من كل ما تريد القيام به, ومن ثم ينظمه امامك في قوائم بشكل يسمح لك للوصول إلى اقصى حالة من الإنتاجية.

    هناك قضيتان لا بد أن نشير لها بخصوص الكتاب:

    1 – الكتاب يتعامل مع المستوى المنخفض من الإنتاجية. قضية الكتاب الأساسية هي كيف تنفذ كل ما في عقلك, لكن من أين تأتي الأشياء التي في عقلك؟ ... هذه في الواقع ليست قضية الكتاب .. الكتاب لا يتعامل مع الرؤية والقيم والحوافز والأهداف بعيدة المدى. هذا ليس عيب في الكتاب, ولكنها طبيعة النظام. في مدونتي سوف اتطرق لهذا الكتاب وكتاب ستيفن كوفي ( إدارة الألويات ). كتاب ديفيد الين يتعامل مع المستوى المنخفض من الإنتاجية, وكتاب ستيفن كوفي يتعامل مع المستوى العالي من الإنتاجية؛ والكتابان يكملان بعضهما.

    2 – الكتاب يقدم لك أفكاره بشكل مجرد ويقدم لك بعض الاقتراحات لتنفيذها, لكن اختيار افضل طريقة بالنسبة لك لتنفيذها هو بالفعل تحدي حقيقي. سوف أقدم في مدونتي الطرق التي استخدمتها شخصيا وتقييمي لها, وسوف أدلك على الكثير من المصادر التي تستطيع ان تجد فيها تجارب الاخرين, لكن في نهاية المطاف سوف تحتاج ان تجرب عدة خيارات حتى تجد ما يناسبك شخصياً.

    تمنياتي لكم بقراء ممتعة

  • Jamie

    Ironically, looking in to the GTD (Getting Things Done) system has been bouncing around in the back of my head as something to do for quite some time now. This approach to maximizing productivity is popular among the nerdegalian, probably because of its minimum bullshit approach to actually processing, classifying, and executing what the author David Allen calls "stuff to do." This book discusses the GTD system in its entirety and, more importantly, teaches you how to put it in place.

    What I real

    Ironically, looking in to the GTD (Getting Things Done) system has been bouncing around in the back of my head as something to do for quite some time now. This approach to maximizing productivity is popular among the nerdegalian, probably because of its minimum bullshit approach to actually processing, classifying, and executing what the author David Allen calls "stuff to do." This book discusses the GTD system in its entirety and, more importantly, teaches you how to put it in place.

    What I really liked about Allen's work is that it's very straight forward and focused on implementation. It seems like other self-help books in this vein that I've perused are all about inspiration, defining values, motivating yourself, getting in touch with your inner being and letting loose the full potential of you. To those authors I'd like to say the following: No. Stop it. I don't need nor want that, so you can cram it with walnuts, buddy. GTD, in comparison, is prescriptive. Allen gets touchy-feeling in a few places (such as discussing prioritization or project definition) but the vast majority of the book takes a very practical approach to digging yourself out of whatever mountain of commitments you've gotten yourself under and how to stay on top of it once you get there.

    In short, GTD focuses on getting "stuff" --commitments, to do items, reminders to gather information, requests for information or actions, etc.-- out of your short-term memory and into a physical, highly organized system that will remind you of the right stuff at the right time. Dumping everything out of your short-term memory allows you to do something that's very critical to productivity: focus on one thing at a time. If you're confident that your other commitments or to-dos are safely stored away somewhere and will not be lost or buried out of sight, you can devote all your attention, time, and mental energy to one thing before knocking it out and moving on to the next. I like to think of the system as an artificial, external, and infinitely scalable attention span that you can connect to and disconnect from as needed.

    That's all well and good, but it's probably not beyond the ken of your average retarded monkey. The tough (and in some places nonintuitive) part is the implementation. Again, there's tons more detail, tricks, and tips in the book, but I'll try to capture the gist of it. There are four major parts to the GTD system:

    1. Collecting incoming stuff

    2. Processing the stuff

    3. Doing the stuff

    4. Regularly reviewing your system to make sure your action items and project lists are up to date

    Collecting stuff is easy. That's just letting stuff accumulate in your physical or virtual receptacles like inboxes, voice mail, or e-mail.

    Processing stuff is more involved. It requires sitting down with your inboxes and emptying them. That doesn't mean immediately doing the work associated with each piece of stuff as you pick it up --prioritization is important. It means taking a piece of stuff --an e-mail, a document, a voice mail-- and doing something with it: act on it right then, file it, trash it, delegate it, or create what Allen calls a "Next Action" item associated with it. Again, the book is replete with practical tips, hacks, tools, and rules of thumb for deciding which of these things to do and how to keep it all straight. Therein lies some of the book's best value, but it's too detailed to go into here.

    Doing the stuff is self explanatory, but again I'll emphasize the value of being able to focus on one thing at a time without worrying that other things will be forgotten. It's much more productive and much less stressful.

    Regularly reviewing your system is also important, and comes in two flavors: as needed and weekly. You may review your action item list (a.k.a., your "to do list") several times a day as needed, if for nothing but that endorphin rush that comes with checking things off as "done" and deciding what to tackle next. Weekly reviews are also important, and are different in that you take the time to check on your list of active projects and make sure you have a Next Action item for each and every one.

    So I really like the book and its system. I'd recommend it to anyone who feels like they're not being productive enough or getting buried in work. Allen only gets mushy and non-specific in a few places that make it seem like he's trying to pad the page count, but the majority of the book is specific, direct, and practical. I also like that Allen is in tune with the modern technology that most professionals encounter. He spends appropriate amounts of time discussing things like e-mail, Outlook and voice mail. He also talks about implementing GTD with high-tech tools like PDAs, Web 2.0 systems, and palmtop computers, but while GTD lends itself well to these kinds of toys, at its heart it is technology agnostic. You could do the whole thing quite effectively with a pen, some paper, and a bunch of file folders. Indeed, some parts of the system, like the tickler file work best that way.

  • Sarah Heffern

    This book should have been a 3,000-word article. It was full of useless details (e.g. listing the types of materials out of which an inbox might be made), redundant to the point of making me crazy, and overflowing with multi-step systems for this, that, and the other (seriously, keeping the 3- or 4- or 6-step filters straight would require flashcards).

    While it had some useful tips, I can't imagine anyone having the free time to implement the system fully. Clearly, though, I am wrong in this, jus

    This book should have been a 3,000-word article. It was full of useless details (e.g. listing the types of materials out of which an inbox might be made), redundant to the point of making me crazy, and overflowing with multi-step systems for this, that, and the other (seriously, keeping the 3- or 4- or 6-step filters straight would require flashcards).

    While it had some useful tips, I can't imagine anyone having the free time to implement the system fully. Clearly, though, I am wrong in this, just google "getting things done" or "gtd" and check out the millions of results.

  • Letitia

    David Allen's smirking white male face on the cover of this book may convince that he's successful...but the man should reserve his smirk for one on one business dealings. The biggest issue with this book is, I couldn't get it done.

    is written for a non-existent audience: a procrastinator with enough motivation to actually plow through Allen's dry instruction manual.

  • Hannah

    I like reading about organizing my life and being more productive, but I think the major lessons of this book could have been condensed in a page or two. Here are the things I remember:

    - 2 minute rule: if you remember to do something and it takes you less than two minutes to do it, just go ahead and do it

    - write things down in lists so that they don't float around your head and nag at you all of the time

    - check your lists frequently and often, actually doing the things on the list (or delegating

    I like reading about organizing my life and being more productive, but I think the major lessons of this book could have been condensed in a page or two. Here are the things I remember:

    - 2 minute rule: if you remember to do something and it takes you less than two minutes to do it, just go ahead and do it

    - write things down in lists so that they don't float around your head and nag at you all of the time

    - check your lists frequently and often, actually doing the things on the list (or delegating them, or archiving the info), otherwise you will lose faith in the system and it will never work

    - get a filing cabinet, label-maker, and shredder; create a simple filing system and use your filing system often

    - "tickler system" is a series of files for each day of the year. You file stuff away to be reminded or "tickled" on that specific day (i.e. magazine subscription renewal, buying tickets to a play, etc)

  • Bria

    If you find yourself turning a little moist and your pulse quickening with pleasure when you read words and phrases such as:

    -High-performance workflow management

    -Family commitments

    -Priority factors

    -The ability to be successful, relaxed, and in control during these fertile but turbulent times demands new ways of thinking and working

    -key work tool

    -assembly-line modality

    -workforce

    -values thinking

    -desired results

    -ups the ante in the game

    -deal effectively with the complexity of life in the twenty-fir

    If you find yourself turning a little moist and your pulse quickening with pleasure when you read words and phrases such as:

    -High-performance workflow management

    -Family commitments

    -Priority factors

    -The ability to be successful, relaxed, and in control during these fertile but turbulent times demands new ways of thinking and working

    -key work tool

    -assembly-line modality

    -workforce

    -values thinking

    -desired results

    -ups the ante in the game

    -deal effectively with the complexity of life in the twenty-first century

    as well as quotes around "colloquial" phrases, such as "ringing your bell" (which I think he uses incorrectly, at least according to MY understanding of a what a "bell" is and what it means to "ring" it)

    then not only is this the book for you, this is also the society and era for you, because these things are inescapable and even more so in this book. If such terms instead have you thinking wistfully of the sweet, enveloping darkness to be found at the bottom of your nearest 300-foot drop onto rocky crags, then you have, like me, found yourself woefully living in the wrong universe. You want to be three branes over, where there is still all this awesome new technology and decentralization of art and science and society but nary a hard-charger to be found. In that universe, if someone wants to help others to be more productive, that someone wouldn't expect their readers to slog through a 400-page book that contains about 370 pages of enthusiastic self-congratulation on the startling effectiveness of the method outlined in the remaining 30 pages. Writers in that universe also don't get bored of their own choking newspeak every two paragraphs or so, needing to take a break for a witty and apropos quote, one-sentence summary or reminder of the previous two paragraphs that passed as ephemerally through their own mind as it will through that of the readers, or to just start a new section on either the same or a new topic, either one, it doesn't matter, no one will notice, it's just the same randomly-generated buzzwords bouncing off their eyeballs.

    However, in that universe as well as our own, the general concept outlined in this book of turning yourself into an automaton of your own design is still valid. Only in that universe when someone wants to get more done in their life by exporting their brain to external resources, it's done matter-of-factly and with little fanfare, since that universe has also failed to create an entire race of creatures that can't figure out how to function without following explicitly outlined methodologies taught to them by highly paid professional consultants. People in that universe have external brains because it's obviously the thing to do, not because it'll make them more effective entrepreneurs, more successful businessmen, more highly admired community leaders not to mention better partners and parents. Half those things aren't taken seriously in this other universe and the other half are taken even less seriously but still done well. There, they learn how to be alive while they're being alive, by being alive, not from a book they read in middle age in desperation after having already failed miserably at living and this is the thing that'll finally get their shit together, I swear to high heaven this is it, for real, everything's gonna be different from here on out. God I wish I was in that universe.

  • Jonatron

    I bought this book, and I read some of it. It sat on a shelf unfinished. I read some more. It sat in my car unfinished. I eventually made the decision to never finish it.

    I think this is self-explanatory.

    [Later...]

    Now I'm reading

    , and it does a good job of articulating the "ehhhh"ness that I felt while reading this.

    [Even later...]

    And if you think GTD's followers are a little cult-like (see, for instance, the comments on this review), check this out: When David Allen say

    I bought this book, and I read some of it. It sat on a shelf unfinished. I read some more. It sat in my car unfinished. I eventually made the decision to never finish it.

    I think this is self-explanatory.

    [Later...]

    Now I'm reading

    , and it does a good job of articulating the "ehhhh"ness that I felt while reading this.

    [Even later...]

    And if you think GTD's followers are a little cult-like (see, for instance, the comments on this review), check this out: When David Allen says in the acknowledgments "deepest thanks go to my spiritual coach, J-R", he's talking about a man named John-Roger "the Mystical Traveler", who believes he is a reincarnation of Jesus, St. Francis of Assisi, and Abraham Lincoln. Allen is a minister in his

    church. Yup.

  • Jarrodtrainque

    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,

    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

    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,

    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/

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