Getting Things Done (Penguin Books; Revised edition; March 17, 2015)


David Allen is widely recognized as the world’s leading expert on personal and organizational productivity. His thirty-year pioneering research and coaching to corporate managers and CEOs of some of America’s most prestigious corporations and institutions has earned him Forbes’ recognition as one of the top five executive coaches in the U.S. and Business 2.0 magazine’s inclusion in their 2006 list of the “50 Who Matter Now.” Time Magazine called his flagship book, “Getting Things Done”, “the definitive business self-help book of the decade.” Fast Company Magazine called David “one of the world’s most influential thinkers” in the arena of personal productivity, for his outstanding programs and writing on time and stress management, the power of aligned focus and vision, and his groundbreaking methodologies in management and executive peak performance.

David is the international best-selling author of “Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity”; “Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life”; and “Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and the Business of Life”.

He is the engineer of GTD®, the popular Getting Things Done® methodology that has shown millions how to transform a fast-paced, overwhelming, overcommitted life into one that is balanced, integrated, relaxed, and has more successful outcomes. GTD’s broad appeal is based on the fact that it is applicable from the boardroom to the living room to the class room. It is hailed as “life changing” by students, busy parents, entrepreneurs and corporate executives. David is the Founder and Chairman of the David Allen Company, whose inspirational seminars, coaching, educational materials and practical products present individuals and organizations with a new model for “Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life.” He continues to write articles and essays that address today’s ever-changing issues about living and working in a fast-paced world while sustaining balance, control, and meaningful focus. –from

My Review

I started reading this in January 2016, and as a result the scope of one of my 2016 goals increased several times. What I had intended to complete in January to lay the groundwork for my best year ever is still not done in March. This hardly sounds like a ringing endorsement of the book, yet it is. It would be foolish to think that years of storing without order would be reversed without lots of work. I quickly realized that my goal of cleaning my home office while great would not have created an environment where that would be its perpetual state with my initial goal. That meant cleaning out file drawers that haven’t been touched in 10 years. It meant cleaning out drawers that collected whatever didn’t have a place. And it meant only putting things back if that was the place for them. When I’m done, and I will finish, my workspace will allow me to be more productive. Not only has this book helped bring order to my physical stuff, but it also reminded me that I need to have it extend to my digital world as well.

You could be forgiven at this point for thinking that this is a book about getting to clean. That’s only the welcome byproduct of the process. This is really a book about shifting the way you think about an inbox, and storage. In the digital world, inbox zero is all the rage. And that’s a good thing. E-mail programs make poor databases. Yet for many of us, we store unprocessed e-mail in our inboxes. That’s going to change for me as well, as the things I need to do from an e-mail make it into my trusted system for follow-up, or I take immediate action if whatever needs to be done can be done in two minutes or less.

Perhaps, that is the single most beneficial thing from the book, doing what will only take two minutes right away, removes us from even having to track our progress on it. However, if you’re like me, you’ll likely include the task to check off anyway!