Monday, August 04, 2008

The Zen of Getting Things Done

So I finished the book Getting Things Done by David Allen. I had two colleagues recommend it within a couple of days and took that as a sign.

An underlying theme of the book is a “mind like water.” I’ve heard this idea used a lot in meditation. Think about a pond when a pebble hits it and the ripples flow out. In meditation, you want to get rid of the ripples; clear the mind.

The same idea applies to Getting Things Done. If you can get things off your mind by capturing them in an effective system, you will be more productive with the things you are doing.

A key is to be able to decide what is the next step for any of the projects you may be working on. For example, every time I start my car, the computer reminds me that service is due. The next step has to be well-defined. It’s not get the car serviced but more precisely call the service department and make an appointment for Friday at 8:00 AM.

So in your next meeting, as your discussing a project, ask the question “So what’s the next step?” and get things done.

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