I read quite a few books. For the most part, books within the same topic area generally contain the same content, each with a slightly different twist or tips that another did not have. This is not necessarily a problem, but leads me to not be able to differentiate many books from each other after I have read them.
This was not the case with David Allen‘s book Getting Things Done (GTD). In a world where everyone needs more time, GTD was groundbreaking for me. From a quick Google search, I appear to not be the only one. GTD appears to have quite the cult following with a wide variety of implementations and software created to help you implement the system.
The main premise of the book is that you need to have a system to manage all of the “stuff” in your life. By having a system to process this stuff, you can clear your mind and when you work through your task list, be focused and efficient. Outside of increasing productivity, this “mind like water” philosophy should lead to less stress because you don’t have to keep everything you need to do in your head. David likens this to computer RAM, which can only store so much information and should be dumped allow allow faster/focused processing. By dumping everything you need to do into a single “inbox”, you can focus on the task at hand and not worry about losing other things that you need to do. Then at a later point you can “process” your inbox and determine what to do with each item (Do It, Delegate It, Trash It, Put It On a List).
Here is the basic workflow:
Overall, I really liked the book. I think it was probably longer than it needed to be, but the variety of examples and use cases did help me understand how only how to do each step, but also why I was doing each step. Although I think someone could look online and find information for how to implement the system, I think the $10 that I spent to purchase the book was well worth it for all of the additional details.