October 23, 2005

Get It Done

Posted in Behaviour, Society at 17:08 by graham

This section presents a system for getting things done. It is inspired by Getting Things Done by David Allen – a valuable book which I recommend.

This system takes the e-mails in your In-box, the ideas and reminders in your head, on scraps of paper, in your notebook, your PDA, wherever, and organizes them so that none of them get lots, and the important ones get acted upon.

h2. Gather everything together

Make or buy an in-tray. Then gather those unpaid bills, scraps of paper, books, printouts, TO-DO lists, jot down the ideas from your head, and pile it all in the in-tray. Next do the same for your electronic data, using your e-mail In-box. Most likely there will already be quite a few e-mails in there. E-mail yourself with anything else you need recorded and processed.

Make two special folders in you mail client – one called @action and one @waiting. Make or buy two similar trays for the real world. Buy a sectioned / expanding file. If you haven’t already got a diary, get one.

h2. Process

Once you have everything gathered take e-mails or pieces of paper one by one and run through this diagram:

Getting things done diagram

Everything starts at stuff and ends up in one of the circles.

Calendar should be only actions with a hard date / time (meetings, appointments, birthdays). Things that you would like to get done on a particular day go into Actions.

If needed, Actions can be split by location: Calls, At Computer, Errands, At Office, At Home, Read / Review.

Look at the Calendar daily, first thing. Then look at the Actions list.

Do a Weekly Review of everything – this is whatever needs doing to keep the system up to date – get the ideas in the world onto paper. In a business context, Friday early afternoon is good for this.

3 Comments »

  1. Getting Things Done with Backpack and 37Signals | Michael Kennedy on Technology said,

    March 2, 2012 at 21:07

    […] [image credit Graham King] […]

  2. Lisa D said,

    September 28, 2011 at 17:37

    Thank you so much! Loving this. Getting David’s book too.

  3. Nil mandia said,

    February 20, 2007 at 06:08

    This is great and really true! Actually im doing this so I never missed anything..

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