Getting Things Done
Getting Things Done, or GTD for short, is a system created by David Allen. The main objective is to manage your task to make sure you work on the right things.
# Inbox (Capturing):
Put everything new in one place, that will be your inbox.
Don’t try to remember everything, but write everything down. The additional benefit of writing everything down, is that things or tasks won’t occupy my mind, but I’m confident that I can remember things by looking in my notes. Before heavily taking notes, I always get the feeling “I feel like I’m forgetting something…”
Anothey key point in the Inbox method is that not every new task will need your immediate attention. Just focus on putting it in the inbox. These includes:
- Ideas you get from reading an article or watching a video.
- Important document shared in a meeting or discussion that you need to review.
- Facts or information that you think will be useful in the future.
# Prioritization (Processing):
Go through your inbox, and put every task on their place.
If you do the first step correctly, you can be confident that you won’t miss a thing. Now you need to sort it all out, because every task is not equal. Some is simple, some is complex, some actionable, some dont, etc. iirc, GTD ask you to sort every task using to criteria, importance and urgency. Every combination will have different treatment (sorted by priority):
- Important Not Urgent: These are your key strategies, your long term projects, your moon shots. You should always prioritize them, because otherwise, you will stuck in a loop of constant urgent tasks that keeping you in the same place. Remember to set aside time to do important tasks daily.
- Urgent Important: These are the tasks that always comes up in your day by day, but can’t be postponed. Firefighting, they said. Like it or not, you need to finish them. But make sure they don’t consume the time for your important tasks.
- Urgent Not Important: These are small tasks that wants your attention and usually took a lot of time. You should delegate them to your team member. If you don’t have any team member you can delegate to, make sure you put efforts to simplify the task by creating templates, do them in batch, or better, make some kind of automation.
- Not Urgent Not Important: These tasks should not have your attention, why do things that are not important nor urgent. Usually these tasks are things that are ’nice to have’ or just an ‘idea’ from other people. Delete them.
# Next action (Doing):
Pick the most important task as your next item. Don’t do other task before the next item is done.
Ideally, at any point in time, you only have exactly one item in your to do list, as this is the definition of Priority.
pri·or·i·ty /prīˈôrədē/: the fact or condition of being regarded or treated as more important.
We don’t live in an ideal world, so we usually have 3-5 things on our to do list. Usually because not everything we can finish alone, e.g. need approval from other, need information from others, etc. But rest assured, if you do the previous steps correctly, you should always working on the most important thing to get things done.