The Getting Things Done® methodology, commonly abbreviated as GTD®, was created by renowned coach and author, David Allen who went on to form the highly successful David Allen Company.
David Allen asserts that our minds are a great place to create thoughts, but a lousy place to store them. The GTD methodology involves taking all the “stuff” that’s stored in our minds, which often commands our attention at inopportune times, such as when we’re trying to sleep, and putting it all into a trusted system. Ultimately this creates what David Allen describes as a “mind like water” mental state where there’s literally nothing on our mind. This is a highly creative space – one that allows us to be productive without feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
I have tried using traditional task management approaches over the years and always found that my to-do lists quickly got out of control and even contributed to my feelings of overwhelm rather than helping me maintain a sense of control. In my experience, the GTD methodology is much better suited to our modern world where we tend to have a lot of demands on our time and attention and a vast amount of information to deal with. It provides a structured, but not too structured, approach to managing all of the actions that ultimately move us forward towards our dreams and in the process helps bring clarity to both short-term and long-term aspirations.
I first put GTD through its paces when I was going through cancer treatments last year. Having this methodology at my disposal had such a profoundly positive impact that I wrote an account of my journey and sent it to the David Allen Company. I received a very positive response and my article was published on their blog. David Allen will also be interviewing me in the near future as part of the In Conversation series.
If you’re interested in learning more about GTD, a good first step is to pick up a copy of David Allen’s inaugural Gettings Things Done book, which is available through Amazon.ca and at most bookstores. There are also many resources on-line, such as GTD Times and GTD Connect, that provide a wealth of information, including real world examples of how people are “Winning at the Game of Work and the Business of Life”, as David Allen puts it.
I will also continue to report on more of my own experiences with GTD through this blog and frequently share this methodology with clients through my work as a coach, consultant and workshop leader. Stay tuned!