Posts Tagged 'GTD'

Starting Fresh – Back on the GTD Wagon


Photo courtesy of Raphs

Photo courtesy of Raphs

One of my habits to change in 2009 was to become more organized, especially when it comes to managing my time.  Like most people, I am juggling a dozen or more projects, am constantly inundated with phone calls/emails/people who want a piece of my time, and have a task list a mile long.  

Those if you who know me well, know that I am Getting Things Done (GTD) advocate.  I picked up the book almost 2 years ago to the day, after a cross-country trek in a moving truck.  It has helped me in countless ways by reducing stress, bringing focus to my work, and allowing me the freedom to enjoy the things I love.

Like most GTDers, including David Allen himself, every so often you “fall of the wagon.”  For me, it was about 3 months ago.  I stopped using my trusted system to keep track of things, I tried to remember all my tasks in my head, and stopped reviewing my tasks for the week.  The end result…productivity suffered and stress went up.  

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Book Review: The Power of Less

power-of-less1As I mentioned last week, I eagerly picked up a copy of Leo Babauta’s The Power of Less.  All in all, it’s a great framework for how to simplify your life personally and professionally.  Long time readers of Leo’s popular Zen Habits blog (one of my personal favorites) will not pick up much new information, although the book does a nice job of presenting a lot of his content in one place. However, for those who are unfamiliar with Leo’s work, there is a wealth of knowledge on topics such as maintaing focus, setting priorities, creating new habits, and managing time.

Although it’s a scant 150 pages, resulting in a very quick read, there is a lot of thought provoking content that is augmented well by Leo’s blog and the companion website

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Two New Books Out Today

Two new books hit the shelves today, which I am looking forward to picking up.

Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life by David Allen, is his 3rd book.  In this book, the author of Getting Things Done and Ready for Anything, provides further insight into how to effectively manage day-to-day tasks.  Getting Things Done (or GTD) has a “cult-like” following on the internet and has provided me a wealth of ideas to increase my productivity.  David’s concepts are common sense, but it helps to have someone explain the “why” not just the “how,” which he does very well.

Even more exciting, is the release of Leo Babauta’s Power of Less, The: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential…in Business and in Life. Leo, creator of the popular ZenHabits website (one of my absolute favorites,) is well known for his productivity, de-cluttering, and simplicity guides.  Leo has a way of taking the complex, such as how to approach the start of a new day, and breaking it down into simple, more manageable tasks.  Leo has written several short ebooks, which I have thoroughly enjoyed, so I can’t wait to pick this title up.  

Leo and David are both quick reads, so during my upcoming vacation I hope to get both titles read.  Reviews will be forthcoming!

My email system

Several people, over time, have asked about my email system so I thought I’d share it.  Following the principles of GTD I process my email as quickly as possible and either act on it, delete it, or defer it for a later time (making sure the next action gets on my task list.) I believe the key is to pre-allocate time to check email, and stick to only processing the email and knocking out the quick responses…don’t spend time trying to get everything done at once as it will only slow you down.

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My name is Greg Syferd. Here I share my thoughts, ideas, and random stuff I come across. For work, I am a Systems Manager at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. When unplugged I'm a husband/father, read books, and aspire to be a photographer.
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