Steve's Reviews > Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Getting Things Done by David    Allen
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's review
Sep 01, 2007

it was amazing
Recommended for: busy people

You've got too much to do and you're trying to juggle it all. How do you manage the overload of tasks? David Allen's "Getting Things Done" book offers a comprehensive, it-makes-sense system for keeping all of your various tasks under control.

The basic idea of the system is that your brain is unreliable and focuses on the wrong things at the wrong times, so you need to either work on something as soon as it arrives or use a system that you trust holds all of your pending work-to-do. Since so much of modern work comes in all at once, it's hard to do the former, so this book focuses on how to deal with the latter.

It's most definitely not perfect -- it works much better, IMO, for "manager" or "consultant" style work (where there are lots of little discrete tasks) rather than creative "flow" work where you really need immersion for long periods of time and tasks/milestones really do require large amounts of time -- but it's the best thing I've run across for dealing with the random stuff that falls into my lap.

Also, it's incredibly popular on the Internet, which means that people are generating software tools to help you implement this. It really only needs paper, but you can get as complicated as you want, which is part of the fun of the system. (Just beware falling into the trap of optimizing your system instead of actually doing work.)

Highly recommended.
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February 1, 2006 – Finished Reading
September 1, 2007 – Shelved

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