Getting Things Done
Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done

his sensible insistence on developing a “capture” habit, so that you are sure to write down or otherwise record every commitment you make or obligation you accept rather than torture yourself trying to remember them all, (Location 128)

Tags: gtd

Note: Develop a capture habit - write things down rather than trying to remember them

Or his emphasis, explained throughout the book, on relying on an “external brain”—that is, tools that can do routine categorizing and remembering for us, from simple folders in which to store receipts to established places in which you will always put keys, glasses, or other things you don’t want to hunt for each time. (Location 134)

Tags: issue6, external brain, favorite

Note: Create an external brain - Tools which can categorize and remember

The book is also written with an understanding that life consists of cycles. Things go better, and then get worse. At some points we fall behind; at others, we catch up, or try to. When episodes occur, as they will for anyone, in which we are overwhelmed or unable to cope, the book suggests achievable day-by-day steps toward regaining a calm sense of control. (Location 138)

Everything in life worth achieving requires practice. In fact, life itself is nothing more than one long practice session, an endless effort of refining our motions. When the proper mechanics of practicing are understood, the task of learning something new becomes a stress-free experience of joy and calmness, a process which settles all areas in your life and promotes proper perspective on all of life’s difficulties. —Thomas Sterner (Location 274)

The art of resting the mind and the power of dismissing from it all care and worry is probably one of the secrets of our great men. (Location 330)

Note: Dismiss the mind of worry

Anxiety is caused by a lack of control, organization, preparation, and action. —David Kekich (Location 358)

There is one thing we can do, and the happiest people are those who can do it to the limit of their ability. We can be completely present. We can be all here. We can give … our attention to the opportunity before us. —Mark Van Doren (Location 421)

Tags: issue5, focus

Note: Be present

The methods I present here are all based on three key objectives: (1) capturing all the things that might need to get done or have usefulness for you—now, later, someday, big, little, or in between—in a logical and trusted system outside your head and off your mind; (2) directing yourself to make front-end decisions about all of the “inputs” you let into your life so that you will always have a workable inventory of “next actions” that you can implement or renegotiate in the moment; and (3) curating and coordinating all of that content, utilizing the recognition of the multiple levels of commitments with yourself and others you will have at play, at any point in time. (Location 437)

Tags: favorite, gtd

Note: Capture, create next actions, categorise

In karate there is an image that’s used to define the position of perfect readiness: “mind like water.” Imagine throwing a pebble into a still pond. How does the water respond? The answer is, totally appropriately to the force and mass of the input; then it returns to calm. It doesn’t overreact or underreact. (Location 591)

Note: Mind like water

Anything that does not belong where it is, the way it is, is an “open loop,” which will be pulling on your attention if it’s not appropriately managed. (Location 620)

Note: Open loops continuously pull on your attention

The Basic Requirements for Managing Commitments Managing commitments well requires the implementation of some basic activities and behaviors: First of all, if it’s on your mind, your mind isn’t clear. Anything you consider unfinished in any way must be captured in a trusted system outside your mind, or what I call a collection tool, that you know you’ll come back to regularly and sort through. Second, you must clarify exactly what your commitment is and decide what you have to do, if anything, to make progress toward fulfilling it. You must use your mind to get things off your mind. Third, once you’ve decided on all the actions you need to take, you must keep reminders of them organized in a system you review regularly. (Location 630)

Tags: gtd, favorite

Note: If it's on your mind your mind isn't clear. Capture everything in a trusted extrernal system

Now write down the very next physical action required to move the situation forward. If you had nothing else to do in your life but get closure on this, what visible action would you take right now? Would you call or text someone? Write an e-mail? Take pen (Location 650)

Tags: execution

Note: Write down the very next action to move it forward

Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought. —Henri Bergson (Location 654)

Tags: quotes

What probably happened is that you acquired a clearer definition of the outcome desired and the next action required. What did change is the most important element for clarity, focus, (Location 662)

Thought is useful when it motivates action and a hindrance when it substitutes for action. —Bill Raeder (Location 732)

Tags: issue5, favorite, execution, quotes

In training and coaching many thousands of people, I have found that lack of time is not the major issue for them (though they may think it is); the real problem is a lack of clarity and definition about what a project really is, and what associated next-action steps are required. Clarifying things on the front end, when they first appear on the radar, rather than on the back end, after trouble has developed, allows people to reap the benefits of managing action. (Location 761)

Note: Clarify the next actions up front

Getting things done requires two basic components: defining (1) what “done” means (outcome) and (2) what “doing” looks like (action). (Location 767)

Note: Define what done & doing look like

The Value of a Bottom-Up Approach I have discovered over the years the practical value of working on personal productivity improvement from the bottom up, starting with the most mundane, ground-floor level of current activity and commitments. Intellectually, the most appropriate way ought to be to work from the top down, first uncovering personal and organizational purpose and vision, then defining critical objectives, and finally focusing on the details of implementation. The trouble is, however, that most people are so embroiled in commitments on a day-to-day level that their ability to focus successfully on the larger horizon is seriously impaired. Consequently, a bottom-up approach is usually more effective. (Location 769)

Horizontal and Vertical Action Management (Location 787)

Horizontal control maintains coherence across all the activities in which you are involved. (Location 788)

Vertical control, in contrast, manages thinking, development, and coordination of individual topics and projects. (Location 795)

There is usually an inverse relationship between how much something is on your mind and how much it’s getting done. (Location 805)

I try to make intuitive choices based on my options, instead of trying to think about what those options are. I need to have thought about all of that already and captured the results in a trusted way. I don’t want to waste time thinking about things more than once. That’s an inefficient use of creative energy and a source of frustration and stress. (Location 823)

The short-term-memory part of your mind—the part that tends to hold all of the incomplete, undecided, and unorganized stuff—functions much like RAM (random-access memory) on a computer. Your conscious mind, like the computer screen, is a focusing tool, not a storage place. You can think about only two or three things at once. But the incomplete items are still being stored in the short-term-memory space. And as with RAM, there’s limited capacity; there’s only so much stuff you can store in there and still have that part of your brain function at a high level. Most people walk around with their RAM bursting at the seams. They’re constantly distracted, their focus disturbed and performance diminished by their own internal mental overload. Recent research in the cognitive sciences has now validated this conclusion. Studies have demonstrated that our mental processes are hampered by the burden put on the mind to keep track of things we’re committed to finish, without a trusted plan or system in place to handle them.* (Location 828)

Tags: gtd

Note: Your conscious mind is like a focusing tool, not a storage place

A big problem is that your mind keeps reminding you of things when you can’t do anything about them. It has no sense of past or future. That means as soon as you tell yourself that you might need to do something, and store it only in your head, there’s a part of you that thinks you should be doing that something all the time. Everything you’ve told yourself you ought to do, it thinks you should be doing right now. Frankly, as soon as you have two things to do stored only in your mind, you’ve generated personal failure, because you can’t do them both at the same time. This produces a pervasive stress factor whose source can’t be pinpointed. (Location 843)

Tags: external brain, gtd, issue5, favorite

Note: Your mind has no sense of past and future. When you tell yourself you need to complete a task your mind can't distinguish when it needs to be done

We (1) capture what has our attention; (2) clarify what each item means and what to do about it; (3) organize the results, which presents the options we (4) reflect on, which we then choose to (5) engage with. This constitutes the management of the horizontal aspect of our lives, incorporating everything that we need to consider at any time, as we move forward moment to moment. (Location 868)

Tags: gtd

Small leaks, with added pressure, become big ones. (Location 883)

A task left undone remains undone in two places—at the actual location of the task, and inside your head. Incomplete tasks in your head consume the energy of your attention as they gnaw at your conscience. —Brahma Kumaris (Location 931)

Tags: gtd

Note: Incomplete tasks in your head consume energy

As soon as you attach a “should,” “need to,” or “ought to” to an item, it becomes an incomplete. (Location 934)

Get a purge for your brain. It will do better than for your stomach. —Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (Location 975)

Is It Actionable? There are two possible answers for this: yes and no. No Action Required If the answer is no, there are three possibilities: 1  |  It’s trash, no longer needed. 2  |  No action is needed now, but something might need to be done later (incubate). 3  |  The item is potentially useful information that might be needed for something later (reference). (Location 1040)

Do It, Delegate It, or Defer It Once you’ve decided on the next action, you have three options: 1. Do it. If an action will take less than two minutes, it should be done at the moment it is defined. 2. Delegate it. If the action will take longer than two minutes, ask yourself, Am I the right person to do this? If the answer is no, delegate it to the appropriate entity. 3. Defer it, If the action will take longer than two minutes, and you are the right person to do it, you will have to defer acting on it until later and track it on one or more “Next Actions” lists. (Location 1071)

Note: Do it, delegate it or defer it.

Typical Partial Someday/Maybe List (Location 1212)

These items are of the nature of “projects I might want to do, but not now … but I’d like to be reminded of them regularly.” (Location 1228)

Tags: someday

Complete the projects you begin, fulfill the commitments you have made, live up to your promises—then both your subconscious and conscious selves can have success, which leads to a feeling of fulfillment, worthiness and oneness. —John-Roger (Location 1385)

If you’re waiting to have a good idea before you have any ideas, you won’t have many. (Location 1523)

Tags: idea generation

Often the only way to make a hard decision is to come back to the purpose of what you’re doing. (Location 1585)

Tags: purpose

Note: Always think of the purpose. Why are we doing this?

A great way to think about what your principles are is to complete this sentence: “I would give others totally free rein to do this as long as they …” As long as they what? What policies, stated or unstated, will apply to your group’s activities? “As long as they stayed within budget”? “satisfied the client”? “ensured a healthy team”? “promoted a positive image”? (Location 1619)

Tags: favorite

Vision/ Outcome (Location 1631)

Brainstorming The best way to get a good idea is to get lots of ideas. (Location 1687)

Tags: brainstorming

Brainstorming Keys Many techniques can be used to facilitate brainstorming and out-of-the-box thinking. The basic principles, however, can be summed up as follows: Don’t judge, challenge, evaluate, or criticize. Go for quantity, not quality. Put analysis and organization in the background. (Location 1734)

Tags: idea generation, brainstorming

The cognitive scientists have now proven the reality of “decision fatigue”—that every decision you make, little or big, diminishes a limited amount of your brain power. Deciding to “not decide” about an e-mail or anything else is another one of those decisions, which drains your psychological fuel tank. (Location 2786)

Tags: willpower, decisiveness

HAVING A TOTAL and seamless system of organization in place gives you tremendous power because it allows your mind to let go of lower-level thinking and graduate to intuitive focusing, undistracted by matters that haven’t been dealt with appropriately. But your physical organization system must be better than your mental one in order for that to happen. (Location 3039)

Tags: gtd, issue5

The Basic Categories There are seven primary types of things that you’ll want to keep track of and manage from an organizational and operational perspective: A Projects list Project support material Calendar actions and information Next Actions lists A Waiting For list Reference material A Someday/Maybe list (Location 3056)

The Most Common Categories of Action Reminders You’ll probably find that at least a few of the following common list headings for next actions will make sense for you: Calls At Computer Errands At Office (miscellaneous) At Home Anywhere Agendas (for people and meetings) Read/Review (Location 3140)

Next you can create a folder titled “@WAITING FOR,” which will show up in the same place as the @ACTION folder. (Location 3313)

Again, getting “in” empty doesn’t mean you’ve handled everything. It means that you’ve deleted what you could, filed what you wanted to keep but don’t need to act on, done the less-than-two-minute responses, and moved into your reminder folders all the things you’re waiting for and all your actionable e-mails. Now you can open the @ACTION file and review the e-mails that you’ve determined you need to spend time on. Isn’t that process easier to relate to than fumbling through multiple screens, fearing all the while that you may miss something that’ll blow up on you? (Location 3327)

Remember, you can’t do a project; you can only do the action steps it requires. Being aware of the horizon represented by your projects, however, is critical for extending your comfort with your control and focus into longer reaches of time. (Location 3359)

Getting the inventory of all of those things complete, current, and clear for yourself, and acquiring the habit of maintaining it that way, could be one of the most valuable things you do to enable stress-free productivity for yourself from now on. Here are some of the reasons why: Critical for control and focus Alleviates subtle tensions Core of the Weekly Review Facilitates relationship management (Location 3370)

Nonactionable items fall into three large categories: reference materials, reminders of things that need no action now but might at a later date, and things that you don’t need at all (trash). (Location 3585)

Reference Materials Much of what comes across your desk and into your life in general is reference material. There’s no action required, but it’s information that you want to keep, for a variety of reasons. Your major decisions will be how much to keep, how much room to dedicate to it, what form it should be stored in, and where. Much of that will be a personal or organizational judgment call based upon legal or logistical concerns or personal preferences. The only time you should have attention on your reference material is when you need to change your system in some way because you have too much or too little information, given your needs or preferences. (Location 3587)

People have at times found it useful even to subcategorize their Someday/Maybe projects. There might be a significant difference for you to think about projects you really want to do around your home as soon as you have the resources versus your “bucket list” kind of fantasies, such as climbing a mountain in Nepal or creating a foundation for disadvantaged kids. In a company this might be a distinction between “parking lot” ideas (“Let’s save that to discuss at our next quarterly meeting”) and keeping track of the projects you might energize when and if significant capital shows up. The key here is to pay attention, as you experiment with these options, to whether your lists and subcategories are unnerving or energizing you. (Location 3702)

Many years ago Alfred North Whitehead cogently observed, “Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them.” Checklists provide the micro version of that macro observation: whenever you have to think about anything, either because of some regularity of a refreshed view (“At the end of every calendar year, I want/need to …”) or a specific situation that requires more detail than you can easily recall (“Before I deliver a seminar, I need to …”), you should entrust those jobs to your “external mind”—your management system that holds the details you need to engage with at appropriate times. (Location 3816)

To spark your creative thinking, here’s a list of some of the topics of checklists I’ve seen and used over the years: Job Areas of Responsibility (key responsibility areas) Exercise Regimens (muscle resistance training programs) Travel Checklist (everything to take on or do before a trip) Weekly Review (everything to review and/or update on a weekly basis) Training Program Components (all the things to handle when putting on an event, front to back) Key Clients People to Stay in Touch With (all the people you might want to connect with in your network) Year-end Activities (all the actions for closing up for the time period) Personal Development (things to evaluate regularly to ensure personal balance and progress) Jokes (Location 3887)

THE PURPOSE OF this whole method of workflow management is not to let your brain become lax, but rather to enable it to be free to experience more elegant, productive, and creative activity. (Location 3906)

Tags: brain, gtd

Note: Free your brain to be more creative

If you have a list of calls you must make, for example, the minute that list is not totally current with all the calls you need to make, your brain will not trust the system, and it won’t get relief from its lower-level mental tasks. It will have to take back the job of remembering, processing, and reminding, which, as you should know by now, it doesn’t do very effectively. (Location 3912)

The Power of the Weekly Review (Location 3971)

That whirlwind of activity is precisely what makes the Weekly Review so valuable. It builds in some capturing, reevaluation, and reprocessing time to keep you in balance. There is simply no way to do this necessary regrouping while you’re trying to get everyday work done. (Location 3977)

What Is the Weekly Review? Very simply, the Weekly Review is whatever you need to do to get your head empty again and get oriented for the next couple of weeks. It’s going through the steps of workflow management—capturing, clarifying, organizing, and reviewing all your outstanding commitments, intentions, and inclinations—until you can honestly say, “I absolutely know right now everything I’m not doing but could be doing if I decided to.” (Location 3983)

Get Clear This is the initial stage of gathering up all the loose ends that have been generated in the course of your busy week. (Location 3991)

Get Current You need to “pull up the rear guard” now and eliminate outdated reminders in your system and get your active lists up-to-date (Location 4005)

Review Upcoming Calendar Look at further calendar entries (long- and short-term). Capture actions about projects and preparations required for upcoming events. (Location 4013)

Review “Waiting For” List Any needed follow-up? Need to send an e-mail to get a status on it? (Location 4018)

You felt a profound need to have children; now you’ve got them, and each one is a major business to manage for at least two decades. (Location 4113)

Tags: family

“agile programming” has become the norm for successful start-ups. Have a vision, do your best to imagine what it might look like, get cranking on producing something as a viably marketable first iteration, and then “dynamically steer,” maturing both your vision as well as how to implement it, based on real feedback from your real world. (Location 4128)

Tags: agile

Note: Have a vision, move towards this vision and iterate as you go

The Four-Criteria Model for Choosing Actions in the Moment Remember that you make your action choices based on the following four criteria, in order: Context Time available Energy available Priority (Location 4152)

Note: Context, time, energy, priority

Context At any point in time, the first thing to consider is, what could you possibly do, where you are, with the tools you have? (Location 4157)

As I’ve said, it’s often helpful to organize your action reminders by context—Calls, At Home, At Computer, Errands, Agenda for Joe, Agenda for Staff Meeting, and so on. (Location 4161)

Tags: gtd, context

Since context is the first criterion that comes into play in your best choice of actions, context-sorted lists prevent unnecessary reassessments about what to do. (Location 4162)

Time Available The second factor in choosing an action is how much time you have before you have to do something else. (Location 4195)

Energy Available We all have times when we think more effectively, and times when we should not be thinking at all. —Daniel Cohen Although you can increase your energy level at times by changing your context and redirecting your focus, you can do only so much. The (Location 4207)

Tags: energy

always keep an inventory of things that need to be done that require very little mental or creative horsepower. When you’re in one of those low-energy states, do those things. Casual reading (magazines, articles, catalogs, Web surfing), contact data that needs to be inputted, file purging, backing up your computer, even just watering your plants and filling your stapler. (Location 4217)

Tags: energy, gtd, favorite

Note: Have a list of tasks which can be completed in a low energy state. Eg. Phone calls, reading etc

Priority It is impossible to feel good about your choices unless you are clear about what your work really is. Given the context you’re in and the time and energy you have, the obvious next criterion for action choice is relative priority: “Out of all my remaining options, what is the most important thing for me to do?” (Location 4230)

Tags: prioritise

The Threefold Model for Evaluating Daily Work (Location 4241)

As I explained earlier, during the course of the workday, at any point in time, you’ll be engaged in one of three types of activities: Doing predefined work Doing work as it shows up Defining your work (Location 4248)

Success is learning to deal with Plan B. (Location 4270)

Research has now proven that you can’t actually multitask, i.e. put conscious focused attention on more than one thing at a time; and if you are trying to, it denigrates your performance considerably. (Location 4321)

Tags: multitasking

If your head is your only system for placeholding, you will experience an attempted multitasking internally, which is psychologically impossible and the source of much stress for many people. If you have established practices for parking still-incomplete items midstream, however, your focus can shift cleanly from one to the next and back again, with the precision of a martial artist who appears to fight four people at once, but who in reality is simply rapidly shifting attention. (Location 4322)

Tags: gtd, multitasking

The Six-Level Model for Reviewing Your Own Work (Location 4333)

Horizon 5: Life Horizon 4: Long-term visions Horizon 3: One-to two-year goals Horizon 2: Areas of focus and accountability Horizon 1: Current projects Ground: Current actions (Location 4336)

In order to create productive alignment in your life, you could quite reasonably start with a clarification from the top down. Decide why you’re on the planet. Figure out what kind of life and work and lifestyle would best allow you to fulfill that contract. What kind of job and personal relationships would support that direction? What key things would you need to put in place and make happen right now, and what could you do physically as soon as possible to kick-start each of those? (Location 4370)

Tags: life principles

“mind like water” (nothing on your mind except what’s present in the moment), (Location 4429)

Luck affects everything. Let your hook always be cast; in the stream where you least expect it there will be fish. (Location 4630)

Tags: luck

How Do You Prevent Broken Agreements with Yourself? If the negative feelings come from broken agreements, you have three options for dealing with them and eliminating the negative consequences: Don’t make the agreement. Complete the agreement. Renegotiate the agreement. All of these can work to get rid of the unpleasant feelings. (Location 4793)

The fact that you can’t remember an agreement you made with yourself doesn’t mean that you’re not holding yourself liable for it. Ask any psychologist how much of a sense of past and future that part of your psyche has, the part that was storing the list you dumped: zero. It’s all present tense in there. That means that as soon as you tell yourself that you should do something, if you file it only in your short-term memory, that part of you thinks you should be doing it all the time. And that means that as soon as you’ve given yourself two things to do, and filed them only in your head, you’ve created instant and automatic stress and failure, because you can’t do them both at once, and that (apparently significant) part of your psyche will continue to hold you accountable. (Location 4850)

Tags: memory, favorite

Note: Our brains are not good at distinguishing between tasks which must be completed now and in the future

suggest that you use your mind to think about things, rather than think of them. You want to be adding value as you think about projects and situations, not creating stress by simply reminding yourself they exist and you need to do something about them. To fully realize that more productive place, you will need to capture it all. (Location 4893)

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small, manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one. —Mark Twain (Location 4996)

Tags: agile

Note: Break your tasks into small pieces and start on the 1st one

Defining what real doing looks like on the most basic level and organizing placeholder reminders that we can trust are master keys to productivity enhancement and creating a relaxed inner environment. (Location 5009)

No matter how big and tough a problem may be, get rid of confusion by taking one little step toward solution. Do something. (Location 5069)

Tags: execution

Productivity will improve only when individuals increase their operational responsiveness. And in knowledge work, that means clarifying actions on the front end instead of the back. (Location 5147)

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them. —George Bernard Shaw (Location 5168)

Tags: responsibility

there too much complaining in your culture? The next time someone moans about something, try asking, “So what’s the next action?” People will complain only about something that they assume could be better than it currently is. The action question forces the issue. (Location 5171)

Tags: complaining

Planning The value of natural project planning is that it provides an integrated, flexible, aligned way to think through any situation. Whereas the basic five-step process of capturing, clarifying, organizing, reflecting, and engaging is a coherent way to achieve stability across the whole spectrum of your life, natural planning produces relaxed, focused control in more specific areas. (Location 5277)

Tags: gtd

“What do you want to have happen in this meeting?” “What is the purpose of this form?” “What would the ideal person for this job be able to do?” “What do we want to accomplish with this software?” These and a multitude of other, similar questions are still sorely lacking in many quarters. There’s plenty of talk in the big meetings that sounds good, but learning to ask, “Why are we doing this?” and “What will it look like when it’s done successfully?” and to apply the answers at the day-to-day, operational level—that will create profound results. (Location 5307)

Tags: meetings

Note: Question why you are fundamentally doing something

A vision without a task is but a dream; a task without a vision is but drudgery; a vision and a task is the hope of the world. —From a church in (Location 5318)

Tags: bau

Note: A task without a vision is drudgery

GTD techniques of: **- capturing

- clarifying

- organizing

- reflecting**

Results in greater clarity, control, and focus. (Location 5343)

Tags: gtd

Your mind is for having ideas, not for holding them. (Location 5373)

Tags: gtd, favorite

The mind is brilliant at recognition, but terrible at recall.

You can glance at today’s calendar and in the course of a few seconds get a coherent sense of the day and its contents and contexts. But you’d have a terrible time trying to recall the contents of the next fourteen days on your calendar merely from memory. (Location 5380)

Tags: issue5, gtd, favorite

Note: Our mind is really good at recognizing patterns but poor are recalling

Relieving the Cognitive Load of Incompletions (Location 5396)

Much fruitful work has been done in the early part of this century by Dr. Roy Baumeister et al. in determining the effects on consciousness of unfinished items—goals, projects, outcomes, etc.—that have been committed to but not yet completed. His conclusions simply verify what I’ve experienced for decades: uncompleted tasks take up room in the mind, which then limits clarity and focus. (Location 5397)

Note: Uncompleted tasks take up room in the mind, which limits clarity and focus

But interestingly, in alignment with the GTD practices, Bau-meister has also proven that completion of such items is not required to relieve that burden on the psyche. What is needed is a trusted plan that ensures forward engagement will happen.‡ In Baumeister’s model merely determining the next action to fulfill a commitment is a sufficient end result of “planning”—as long as the trigger or reminder is parked in a place that we trust we’ll look within a reasonable amount of time. (Location 5401)

Note: The psychological burden of incomplete tasks can be removed by using GTD technique

a key element of GTD is the mental component of thinking of your work not simply as a series of large projects but more directly as concrete next actions. (Location 5451)

Tags: execution

Getting Things Done relates directly to all four ingredients of a high PsyCap and its intended results. By enabling people to create and maintain a complete picture of their commitments to themselves and others in order to make good decisions about what to do (or not do) at any given moment, it automatically builds a sense of confidence and control (self-efficacy). (Location 5487)

Simply identifying all open loops and moving them from memory to an external mind while systematically identifying concrete and doable next actions is a pure exercise in self-control and directedness. An individual utilizing GTD knows exactly what needs to be done and exactly what action he can take to achieve it, given the restrictions of available time, energy, and contextual restraints. (Location 5489)

Tags: gtd, newsletter, favorite

As cognitive scientists have validated, your mind is terrible at recalling things out of the blue, but it is fantastic at doing creative thinking about what it has directly in front of it to evaluate. When freed from the remembering function, the mind is a fabulous mechanism to put in play by putting things “in front of the door” so you don’t have to think too hard about what to think about. (Location 5724)

Tags: gtd