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Get Things Done: The Art of Efficiency

"This constant unproductive preoccupation with all the things we have to do is the single largest consumer of time and energy."-Kerry Gleeson

Even the most outwardly neat individuals may still have cluttered minds. That's because most people haven't mastered how to consistently capture all of the incomplete items in their lives and plan how to handle them. How consistently organized are your thoughts? What system do you have for managing all you do?

In his book, "Getting Things Done", personal productivity guru David Allen stresses that "only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective results and unleash our creative potential." Clear minds allow us to focus completely on the task at hand and execute it with the utmost efficiency.  Personally, I love David's process, affectionately referred to as GTD by those who employ his methods.  It makes sense and is a system that can be used in any organization (including your home) with any or even no technology.

David Allen teaches the following core process for mastering workflow in any context, home or office:

  1. Collect the "stuff" that represents your "to do's"
  2. Process what you collect
  3. Organize results of processing
  4. Review results as options "to do"
  5. Do.

When completely integrated, this process alleviates stress because everything is in its place, even our thoughts. The process helps us to be better and more creative leaders. Both me and my clients agree. What is your favorite efficiency technique or system? I'd love to hear from you.

Now, are you ready for some homework?  Here's an assignment for those of you daring enough to take the leap into stress free productivity:

Throughout your day, be aware of how many times you think of something you need to do but still haven't done. How many times did you have that same thought in your day? How much energy is that thought costing you? What will you do about it?