Book Report: Getting Things Done

One of the constant challenges that managers face is in balancing it all. How do we take time to be deliberate, creative, strategic, and visionary all while driving work forward. Ironically, when we get busier, some of these basic time-management tactics go out the window when we need them most. Getting Things Done provides some answers!
The book Getting Things Done offers lots of tricks and tools that can help do just what the author promises.  Frankly, I found the paper-based system to be outdated in this digital world. I am often on-the-go, rarely work at the same desk, and don’t own a filing cabinet all of which are requirements for his paper-based system.  However, I have some great take-aways from this book that DO work for me in our digital world.
So, this post is, essentially, a Cliff Notes series of suggestions that work for me, and hopefully, will work for you!

First up, the weekly review: In a weekly review, you, essentially, clean up the week that just ended and plan for the week to come. This approach helps me transition more easily into the weekend and sets me up for success for the following week.  I find my weekends are much more enjoyable and relaxing when I have tied up loose ends from my workweek. This article offers a fantastic list of what you can include in your weekly review. Fans of Marie Kondo and Gretchen Rubin will appreciate how the process also includes a cleaning up of one’s physical work space, too.

I typically review calendar for meetings I attended and make sure I completed my assigned tasks or complete follow up including providing meeting notes, scheduling the next meeting, and so on. I also look to the week ahead and provide or request agendas for all of the meetings on my calendar. Great tip–if there is not an agenda consider carefully if it is worth your time! 

What works for me:

As a minimum, on Fridays, I review my calendar for the upcoming week, prioritize my to-do list, and I use the Getting Things Done trigger list to create a to-do list and close our loose ends. I don’t have a perfect system but this helps to make sure that I stay on top of my activities. Plus, by using the Trigger List, I clear my mind of little things that I’d subconsciously been tracking.  How do you optimize your time and make sure to honor commitments? 

What tricks have you learned and developed over the course of your career?
What works best for you?
Let’s hear from you in the comments so that we can all benefit from your practices! 
Do you have a team member who could use some help in getting and staying organized? Perhaps this review could do the trick!

PS: Timeblocking is a great, associated tool! Read more here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept that my given data and my IP address is sent to a server in the USA only for the purpose of spam prevention through the Akismet program.More information on Akismet and GDPR.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.