Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life
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Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  1,237 ratings  ·  148 reviews
The long-awaited follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Getting Things Done.

David Allen’s Getting Things Done hit a nerve and ignited a movement with businesses, students, soccer moms, and techies all the way from Silicon Valley to Europe and Asia. Now, David Allen leads the world on a new path to achieve focus, control, and perspective. Throw out everything you know a...more
Hardcover, 286 pages
Published December 30th 2008 by Viking Adult (first published 2003)
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Gregory
Let me start out by saying I loved Mr. Allen's first book "Getting Thing's Done" and have put the practices in to place, have sent employees to his seminar and have generally been a cheerleader.

This book falls flat. This is what it felt like Mr. Allen was saying to me.

1. You DIDN'T understand what I was trying to say in my first two books.
2. You CAN'T understand what it was I was trying to say in my first two books.
3. Let me make try to make this more academic and less understandable so I can w...more
Jaqui
This is billed as a sequel to Allen's Getting Things Done, and as a sequel, it may disappoint those who've already read the first book cover-to-cover, and are desperate for new material. However, as a revision of the original GTD system, it's exactly what I was looking for. Getting Things Done contained a lot of useful information, but was deeply lacking in some places: the horizons of focus, for one, were mentioned, but not really expanded on, and I was left with the feeling I was supposed to b...more
Rebecca
For those who have read and/or familiar with Allen's Getting Things Done, this is a great follow-up. If you like Allen's strategies for organization and general productivity, but occasionally find yourself "falling off the wagon," this book will help.

The book elucidates the major mindsets crucial to GTD, but sometimes gets too wrapped up in its philosophical approach. The "horizons of focus" will cloud your system if you worry about implementing them as actual components, rather than a way to en...more
Rukshana
I really liked the first chapter or two of this book and the chapters on perspective toward the end. He expands on the different levels of perspective in this book, something that was lacking somewhat in Getting Things Done. The appendices were really helpful as well - good to have some visual aids to the concepts in the book and it saved me all the notetaking I did with his first book!

David Allen always has something interesting to say, and it amazes me how he can expand so much and add value t...more
Alissa Thorne
This book went beyond the productivity and organizational system introduced in GTD, and focused on the higher levels of life management. It covered many of the things that I had big question marks around at the end of GTD--what about responsibilities, long term goals? How do I make sure I'm keeping track of the things that matter, and not getting mired in the day-to-day tasks?

While it addressed these questions, the tone of the book was both more self-helpey than GTD, and less refined. The "horiz...more
Ron
This book digs a little deeper into the principles Allen laid out in Getting Things Done, spending a bit more time on each of the steps in his process for dealing with what's on your mind, and on the varying levels of perspective we have on our life, from fundamental principles to that thing we've got to do right now. It's an inspiring system for gaining control and perspective over your life, enabling you to move forward with greater clarity.

I'm still learning to apply GTD consistently, but eve...more
Shawn Camp


Now I've read Getting Things Done and implemented the GTD process. I though this book would help explain some things I may have not focused entirely on and help me reach the mind like water stage. Not only did it explain those areas, it helped me focus on every area I was weak in but didn't realize it. This book re-energized the entire process and I thought I was already excited for the process before that. thank you, thank you, thank you!
Cathleen
Ehhh. I like David Allen's system, but this book was hard to get through. It tended to be redundant and wordy. He could have edited the book to highlight and explain his core principles and have added additional strategies. It would have been a more productive use of time to reread Getting Things Done.
Leader Summaries
Desde Leader Summaries recomendamos la lectura del libro Haz que funcione, de David Allen.
Las personas interesadas en las siguientes temáticas lo encontrarán práctico y útil: habilidades directivas, gestión del tiempo y técnicas de productividad.
En el siguiente enlace tienes el resumen del libro Haz que funcione, Cómo tomar el control de nuestro trabajo adoptando siempre la perspectiva adecuada: Haz que funcione
Andrew
I strongly recommend this book if you read the first and have been working at applying GTD for a year or more. I first tried to read this about a year after I had read the first GTD book, and put it down in disappointment. I was caught up in the fussiness of realising GTD through software (Org-Mode in this case): an easy mistake to make, given how much is written on the web from this point of view, and also just how much wrangling with messy and incomplete commitments I encountered. Coming back...more
Alain Burrese
"Making It All Work: Winning At The Game Of Work And The Business Of Life" by David Allen is a follow up and companion book to his widely popular "Getting Things Done." If you have read the first book, and want a little extra on the same principles, with some further guidance in them, you may enjoy this book. If you are looking for something completely different, or expanded on, you may be disappointed.

The book does repeat the same concepts, so if you have not read the first book, you won't be l...more
Ian
I'm really not one for American business gurus and life coaches but Allen's earlier book really did change everything for me. I have an eclectic job and had got used to a life of "slightly swamped". Following Allen's mantra of "getting clear" I now operate on a zero inbox, weekly reviews, contextual to dos, etc and it helps. A lot.

In this sequel Allen reinforces much of what he has said before which I've found useful for reflecting on how it has all gone so far. He extends this to consider highe...more
Gene Babon
Making It All Work is a valuable companion to Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, the ultimate guide to getting anything and everything on track. The core tactic to stress-free productivity is to capture EVERYTHING into a trusted system.

The purpose of this volume is to reinforce and deepen the core principles of the first volume -- GTD to the uninitiated. Much of Making It All Work covers the concepts of the five stages of Control and the six stages of Perspective presented...more
Lance
I've liked many things about the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology since I first read Allen's first seminal work. Yet there were also aspects of it that turned me off (for example, in my opinion he has way too many lists). In a funk with my own organization schema and wanting to hit the refresh button, I picked up this tome to see if I could make a fresh start.

On that point Allen did not disappoint. I really liked how he delved into the basic principles behind what most people call time mana...more
Todd
This book, along with Getting Things Done The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, is one of the most influential books for me in terms of reducing stress, increasing productivity, and generally having a much more peaceful worldview.

As a pastor, I am constantly torn between the desire to be productive and to engage in pastoral care with my congregation. Allen has helped me to put all of these things into perspective, and has allowed me to balance the various parts of my life (home and family, work,...more
Greg Talbot
Organizational zen. Allen wrote a magnificent book "Getting Things Done" which dives into the process of tying up loose ends, and getting your life free of mental clutter. It's such a great book, even Allen alludes to it's success. It's the place to start with Allen, but "Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life" is no minor work.

What stands out is a 2x2 box showing how perception and process, looking at it as a spectrum. For some, we get very caught up in ideas of organization, and hav...more
Shiri
Really loved this book, after a good 6 months of implementing GTD this higher level overview was just what I needed. Goes in depth into what the original GTD book casually glosses over, such as why this system works as well as it does, and the 6 altitudes (to gain perspective). I really liked the division between achieving control (the 5 stages which is most often connected with GTD, i.e. collect, process, organize, review and do) and gaining perspective (runway, projects, areas of responsibilit...more
Jeff Yoak
Making It All Work is a great sequel to Getting Things Done The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. GTD really changed my life and helped me to get control of the things that I'm doing. This book came along just in time to help me broaden my scope of attention and planning just when having control was starting to make me yearn for a bit more direction. I would recommend this book to anyone, but personally I do think it should follow GTD. If I had encountered this book first, I think I would have be...more
Dave Applegate
-Too much of a rehash of Getting Things Done.
-He does a better job covering setting goals, purpose and values in MIAW than he does in GTD.
-IMO, you would find more value looking through GTD implementation stories and looking through the GTD forums than you would reading this book. It is just too repetitive.
Mike Gibbs
Fantastic discussion about how accomplishing your tasks and keeping your life organized is the REAL secret to work/life balance. We all know that feeling of being "in the zone" and that's the sort of feeling that David Allen wants people to experience as often as possible (he uses the phrase having a "mind like water" to describe it). Allen has a unique perspective that at the end of the day, you just have a list of things you feel like you need to do and you will feel stress and angst over thos...more
Sarah Combs
Dallin and I and Dallin's parents are reading this book together. I have to admit it has been a harder book for me to read. I am not a huge fan of David Allen's style of writing, but this book is much better than his other book "Getting Things Done." Despite my feelings about the writing, the information I am gaining about how to organize my life is well worth the cost of reading a slow read. I have still not perfected his whole system in my life, but the parts I am already using have made a tre...more
Mrs. Riding
As I take on new roles as the Library Media Instructional Technology Specialist at a junior high school, I read this book to refine my pattern at home and work to get things done. This is the sequel to Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. This book helped me to see how to organize and manage the multiple roles and tasks that I am responsible for. Allen's writing is engaging and sequenced in a manner that is useful to implement the GTD way of life. Finally, there is hope, alt...more
Zidane
I loved his first book, GTD, which was very much a how-to description and implementation of his system. This book, though, is EXTREMELY repetitive and verbose. I rated it three stars instead of two because I did think the last 80-90 pages out of nearly 300 had some great information in it concerning gaining PERSPECTIVE. He dives into elaborations of his 6 horizons of focus. That part was very helpful, as well as the appendices he adds to his book.
Robb
Good follow up book to his first book "Getting things Done: The art of stress free productivity." This was helpful to solidify some things I had already learned in the GTD system. Will probably read it again in 6-12 months or refer to it. If you feel like you want more control in managing your life, and are willing to to try a whole new system, GTD (Getting Things Done) system is a good one to do. When I am actually implementing the concepts it is very helpful. Staying committed to the system is...more
Robert Chapman
If you have read Getting Things Done (GTD), then I don't believe you will get more than a refresher from this book. If you have not read GTD then I would recommend reading this book instead of GTD.

The original GTD, while a classic in the realm of personal productivity, was a bit dry in my opinion and is by now somewhat dated. This book does not cover GTD in the same raw detail as the original, but it does cover it well and also adds a few layers of insight on top if it.

Best if all, it's current...more
Garland Vance
While not as life-chaning as GTD, I thought this was an excellent follow up to GTD. The first part of the book reviewed GTD and was ok. (Though the idea it gave to help young children clean up their mess was worth the price of the book.)
The rest of the book gives you the basics of crafting and reviewing Roles, Goals, Vision and Purpose.
I found Allen's ideas insightful and helpful for thinking about these areas of life. My favorite thing is how practical he is. He never denies the hectic nature...more
Alex van der Heijden
I don't know of any other book explaining this elegantly and detailed the bare necessities of going from values to ideas to actions....
Tammy
Allen's "Getting Things Done" was a game changer for me re: productivity. I highly recommend GTD and the many GTD related websites for getting your life in order. It is fabulous.

This book, however, adds nothing significant to the core concepts. It reads as if Allen recorded himself talking and then his words were transcribed. Every sentence is 500x more complex than necessary. The book is bloated with extra words and (like this review) in need of a good editor. The examples were bland and unint...more
Reid
This book is hard to describe. After a cursory glance, it seemed mostly like a less-helpful retread of "Getting Things Done". There's a lot of useful additional content in here, however, particularly the examples of what implementing GTD really looks like and much more fleshing-out of Allen's "Horizons of Focus". The Horizons of Focus (aka Perspective) sections of Getting Things Done were somewhat thin and Making it All Work adds some meat to those bones. I can't say I'd recommend this to someon...more
Reggie
This is the follow up to Getting Things Done. It doesn't cover any new material, it just explains GTD from both a higher level and a more detailed level with plenty of examples.

Honestly I probably wouldn't have finished this one except as part of a company fitness challenge we got credit for reading approved books. However I'm glad I did read it. I've been learning about and following GTD for over a year now and remain convinced it represents perhaps the most important life skills that are neede...more
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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 Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done Getting Things Done...Fast!: The Ultimate Stress-Free Productivity System GTD Life with David Allen How To Get Things Done

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“you can do any thing but not every thing” 3 likes
“It is a tricky business to know when you should set goals and objectives in order to achieve a focus, and when you would be better off dealing with the acceptance and management of your current reality so you can later step into new directions and responsibilities with greater stability and clarity. Only you will know the answer to that, and only in the moment.” 2 likes
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