Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life
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Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  1,882 ratings  ·  135 reviews
Discover David Allen's powerful productivity principles and vastly increase your ability to work better, not harder -- every day.
The "guru of personal productivity" -- Fast Company -- asks listeners what's holding them back and shows how all of us can be "ready for anything" -- with a clear mind, a clear deck, and clear intentions.
Ready for Anything offers you ways to i...more
Audio CD, Abridged, 3 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published 2003)
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Reggie
I made a really big push with the GTD system this year. I listened to the GTD Live audio sessions and then I read Ready for Anything. More than ever I'm relying on GTD to manage my life.

What I learned this time around is how connected organization and creativity are. We're either being creative and making new stuff, or else trying to organize all the stuff that we have created so that we have more space (psychological or physical or otherwise) which will then allow us to be creative again.

The f...more
Duc
I received ‘Ready for Anything’ (RfA) as a belated birthday present from my sister. She saw it on my Amazon wish list. This came as a surprise. I don’t remember putting it on the list. Earlier, I dismissed this book in a conversation with Jennifer George, who thoroughly analyzed the text. I’ve been wondering several points about this slim book. I want to make comparisons to it as investigations into the organization philosophy. This book was born after ‘Getting Things Done’. In the order of thin...more
Chris
Dec 26, 2007 Chris is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
David Allen is my super nerdy organizing your life boyfriend. This book is hot. It should be combined with his celebrated (I'm still raising a glass) Getting Things Done, better know in left/anarchist circles as the GTD Revolution.
Andrew Saul
For those who use GTD this book is a great refresher on why you're doing it, and is excellent chance to look again at each of your processes and change them up if needed.

For those who are new to GTD I think this might be the easiest way to get a taste of what's it all about in terms of why you should do it and the general beliefs that form the core of GTD.

Read this book in bits, it's broken up into 5 minute chapters and I wouldn't read more than 2 at a time. Preferably just 1. This allows you to...more
Tricia
I found this book a nice review of the Getting Things Done system, and while a lot of what the essays are saying is general, I think anyone reading would be better off already familiar with GTD.

These essays were a nice length, easily digested in a quick sitting with some interesting relevant quotes for each one. Some of them fire you up, some make you muse on your work and systems, but all succintly focus on an aspect of productivity, organisation, goals or structures.
Lost In A Fog
I like David Allen's take, even when I don't agree with him. Like Chapter 7 about Prioritization. But I'm nitpicking.

This is a nice follow on to Getting Things Done where David offers 52 short chapters each dealing with a different topic. Having spent some time working on GTD methodology I re-read this one and definitely took more from it than the first time!
Julia Doherty
This book really gave me the kick that I needed to get a bit more focussed on the projects that I want to achieve this year. So many things that he mentions in this book are basic "Getting Things Done" style, but sometimes you just need to be reminded of what you should be doing. It is too easy to slip back into old habits.

Already I have "got stuff out of my head" and created projects on our project management system with break down tasks and due dates. Now I don't need to worry that I will for...more
Stephanie
This is a great book whether you work, volunteer, stay-at-home, or some combination. The chapters are very short and to the point. Each one quickly summarizes a skill or technique that can be used to improve productivity and simplify life.

I did not read his very popular book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity before this one, but I am planning to go back and read it. Allen has a very conversationalist style that makes reading about productivity and organization easy and int...more
Hans de Zwart
For me this was good refresher on the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology for me. A good mix of wise words, quotes and very practical advice. I particularly appreciated the multiple reference to his Karate practice.
Aaron Tesauro
Loved this book. Super practical and short sections that can be easily applied to life. Helped inspire me to be more organized and productive.
Nick
Ready for Anything is a companion book to David Allen’s [Getting Things Done]. The book is comprised of 52 reflections/essays on various aspects of the GTD methodology. The content was okay, but I found the book rather distracting because the author found a need to seed the book with quotes with little thought to placement. Here is a great idea of how to implement — insert 1/2 page quote here — and back to my great thought. If you are into the GTD thing it may be worth the read. If not, skip it.
Viktor Zakharchenko
Создатель теории GTD написал очень простую в восприятии книгу, аккуратно нарезанную на крохотные разделы, размер которых чуть ли не с линейкой замерялся (на самом деле да: bookmate показал 50% книги на 26 разделе из 52). Но это скорее плюс для "чтения в метро", чем минус. И, конечно, книга очень порадует любителей крылатых фраз. Даже хочется пожурить Дэвида, что 30% мудрости его книги - слова других людей. Но журить Аллена не будем : )
Из лучшего:

Наиболее одарённые представители человеческой рас...more
Tyler Suzuki Nelson
As a big fan of David Allen's Getting Things Done, I figured that I would pick up 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done to see what I could work on to better the system. Unfortunately, I didn't find what I expected.

This book takes the form of 52 short essays, each of which Allen covers some brief topic I assume he finds important in getting things done. Out of all these essays, there were 10 ideas I wrote down as being both new and interesting (coming from less than 10 of the essays...more
Matt Burgess
Ready For Anything (2003), David Allen
Ready for Anything is the second book by David Allen that I found unengaging in majority. Allen does present some practical ideas for clearing the mind, organization and planning which can be summed up with these four parts found on the back jacket of the book:
-Clear your head for creativity
-Focus your attention
-Create structures that work
-Take action to get things moving

To begin to make sense of the whopping 52 subtopics (mysteriously an equal 13 subtopics...more
Lance
I read a book in February, and only now am I getting around to writing the review. Yeah, I know. I'm a bum. At least I am working to conquer that natural man instinct.

And this is a book quite up that alley. It is a follow-up to the excellent Getting Things Done, which lays out a very practical plan for personal productivity. I've always had an interest in this subject since entering the so-called real world. I remember when I read Getting Things Done for the first time how I was impressed by som...more
Jackie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vaishali
Absolutely mind-illuminating. Surprisingly full of spiritual revelations on the development of the human persona. This book is a highly engaging volume because Allen looks at GTD as a cosmic exercise of the control of self. Lines like "Unfulfilled commitments consume psychic fuel that is unavailable for other uses" really open up a new view to the mind of exceptionally accomplished individuals and successful companies, both of which Allen has consulted for decades. Rich with information you simp...more
Christopher Lewis Kozoriz
Sometimes the biggest gain in productive energy will come from cleaning the cobwebs, dealing with old business, and clearing the desks—cutting loose debris that's impeding forward motion. ~ David Allen, Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done

I found this book had a lot of theory, but very little practical applications suggested. I believe there is a thought process for productivity; however, thoughts without action leads to no productivity.
Jay
I see what many of the other reviewers are saying when they say this is really nothing new -- this is just philosophical discussions of how to plan and therefore live better. I find that these kinds of books can provide topics for further reflection and can, if you happen to read it while thinking of a related topic, have a big impact on your thoughts and actions, and I found it valuable for that. It also serves as a reminder on the GTD system, which I personally needed six months after first re...more
Russell Allison
I'm a big fan of David Allen, but this book was a big disappointment. Its a series of 52 essays that are reprints from Allen's newsletters and website, and they tend to be short, pithy, and reasonably readable pieces that riff on the core principles of Allen's Getting Things Done book. However, the problem with it is that after 2-3 of these things, they bleed together, and you're reminded that all the good ideas were in the original book. Others might like it more than me -- Allen spends lots of...more
Bill
David Allen's approaches to Getting Things Done are often revolutionary, to say the least. This book successfully frames his approach in a set of guiding principles that can serve to make the soft edges of GTD a more intrinsic part of your reality.

To read a book about getting, being and staying organized that reflects a deep understanding and appreciation for Eastern philosophies is a find. To hear say someone say that being relaxed is a key part of success is a bit annoying as it's so obvious....more
Mark
I've listened to the Audible audiobook versions of Getting Things Done and Making It All Work twice and plan on listening to them again 4-6 months from now.

That being said the audio version of Ready for Anything escaped me on the initial listen. I plan on listening to it again, but if I had to rate David Allen's books in terms of usefulness I'd rate:

#1 Making It All Work
#2 Getting Things Done
#3 Ready for Anything

If you're a GTD convert then I recommend the David Allen Company podcast, following...more
Reid
OK, I'm through with the supplemental David Allen Material. Just like Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life, this book doesn't add a whole lot of new material to the GTD library. If you're already practicing GTD at a really high level, this book might add some refinements and encouragement that you could find useful. For me, though, the most useful pages of this book were the last five: the Appendix that summarizes Allen's GTD approach.
Chuck
This is basically a regurgatation of Allen's classic: Getting Things Done. Ready for Anything's one saving grace from one star is that it has useful appendices in the back that summarize Allen's productivity system. Save you time and skip reading this one; just go to the library and photocopy the appendices instead. Then get a copy of Getting Things Done and read it.
Amy Brown
This book is basically shovelware collection of David Allen's e-newsletters about the Getting Things Done system. As such, it's pretty uneven; some chapters are engaging and useful, some are vague and meandering. I read the book as a booster shot for my application of Getting Things Done, and to that end it was quite effective; I was reminded of a few aspects of the system that I haven't implemented properly, and I was inspired anew to implement GTD properly.

This isn't necessarily the kind of bo...more
Kevin Wortman
As a dedicated yet pragmatic GTDer, I found this book to be an enjoyable read, but light on concrete action items. It's a breezy, meditative rumination on applying GTD in the field. That's an unexpected shift in tone from the first book, which reads like an instructional manual.

My most challenging and difficult-to-time-manage project is long-term basic research, and I've never been able to fit that into the GTD paradigm. GTD works great for everything else I have going on, but I've never been a...more
Dave Emmett
A good refresher on core GTD concepts. I'm sure I would have gotten more out of this one if I had taken the time to answer some of the questions it poses at the end of each chapter.
Wouter
I agree with other reviewers: If you want to get stuff done, read the original GTD book. In "ready for anything", each section is a tiny part of the GTD principle, more explained as a philosophy. David Allen explains more why we should use GTD but skips how (see other book). If you know that this book was published after GTD instead of before, this is confusing.

Instead of reading this, I can heartily recommend "Getting Things Done". Ready for Anything is a nice reminder on why you should keep o...more
Andy
Found it a great resource for provocation as I continue to run down the productivity lifestyle.

Encapsulated some of my thoughts. (blog article)

I can understand why some people might not enjoy this, or might end up putting it down. If you are already a GTD'r then it's just a great reinforcement with a ton of anecdotal references. Don't expect it to rock your world, but help in solidifying your resolve along the path.
Mike Gibbs
This is a great book that challenges people to stop and really think about their lives. While the context of this discussion starts with a simple conversation regarding the "to-do" items, David Allen artfully shows how the decision about what you're doing right now needs to be based on a conscious decision about where you want to end up in the future.

Overall, this collection of essays is a great "why" compliment to the "how" that was spelled out in Allen's more famous "Getting Things Done"
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David Allen is a productivity consultant who is best known as the creator of the Getting Things Done time management method.

He is the founder of the David Allen Company, which is focused on productivity, action management and executive coaching. His Getting Things Done method is part of his coaching efforts. He was also one of the founders of Actioneer, Inc., a company specializing in productivity...more
More about David Allen...
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life Getting Things Done...Fast!: The Ultimate Stress-Free Productivity System GTD Life with David Allen How To Get Things Done

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“When we truly need to do is often what we most feel like avoiding.” 9 likes
“There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but the way out is through.” 5 likes
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