Allen's premise is simple: our ability to be productive is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve stress-free productivity and unleash our creative potential. He teaches us how to:
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©2002 David Allen, All Rights Reserved; (P)2008 Simon and Schuster Inc., SOUND IDEAS Is an Imprint of Simon and Schuster Audio Division, Simon and Schuster Inc.
"[Allen is] the personal productivity guru." (Fast Company)
My new boss lauded the "project based" approach of this author so I started listening on the way to work. What a difference. Previously, I had emails trailing down for pages and pages. After using the suggestions for three different buckets, I'm back on top of it. My next task is to tame the paper beast and get it working for me.
I actually liked the book overall because it gives you a nice structure about how to organize and how organization should fit into your life. Being an absolute slob, this worked for me and I've made several improvements in my business because of the methods he teaches. But when he drones on about staplers or about the hidden value of manila folders, man, not even No-Doze can fight that siren call. Again, good, but there are some potholes to skip.
I read David Allen's book and then got the audiobook. I have been using the Getting Things Done (GTD) system for the last year and it has done exactly as advertised. I am more in control of my tasks and my stress has been reduced.
David Allen knows what he is talking about when it comes to the art of getting things done, and it shows in his book. The information is amazing, indeed it could seriously be called life-changing. However, the biggest issue with this audiobook is the fact that it is an audiobook. This is a guide, a textbook, and a checklist, among other things. Step-by-step instructions and charts/graphs are not nearly as effective as spoken word as in paper form. This is a wonderful book, and anyone who is interested in GTD should consider this the cornerstone of their efforts. If you want this as an audiobook for convenience or another reason you will not be disappointed, but do yourself a favor and re-read it in physical form, you will get far more out of it.
I am a big believer in GTD. However, listening to this on a 600 mile trip nearly caused an accident. It is so boring without the illustrations, that I nearly drove off the road. Get the abridged version or buy it in paperback.
If I had read this book 10 years ago I would likely be giving it a higher rating. Definitely a beneficial book in many ways, but some of the main organizing strategies felt a bit outdated to me. For example, creating file folders of projects and to-dos. Not computer file folders, but actual manilla file folders. Not a bad book, just somewhat old-school.
I'm a lawyer and mediator. I represent businesses in disputes with their insurers and in other complex litigation. I also assist machinery companies and manufacturers (primarily international) with equipment sales, non-disclosure agreements, and business issues. I also mediate commercial disputes.
This book has been out a long time, and there is not a lot that I can add to other reviews. It presents a straight-forward method for eliminating the clutter, interruptions, and mindless thinking that plague so many of us in the modern world.
The book is a little dated, but the principles are timeless, do not let that be a deterrent to reading it. However, if Mr. Allen wanted to do a revised version with a focus more on email and current tools for implementing the system, it would be welcome.
This book is all about process and it has a lot of lists and tools, so it would probably be a good idea to buy an electronic or hard copy print version with it.
This book basically covers a system, or series of systems a person could use to organize and complete tasks. It shows you how to create lists of everything that you have to do, and figure out which is the most important thing to come next.
I think the best part of the book is that it teaches you to write things down when you realize you have to do them, so that you aren't wasting mental energy thinking about them. You also have to develop a habit of going back to your list and going "what's next?" when you have free time to do it, but otherwise you don't find yourself every trying to remember things or forgetting things, so you are free to focus completely on what you are doing.
It's also pretty complex, as the system has to be adjusted for different types of work and lifestyles, but he sortof explains it as someone who has tried everything with different people and has seen what works for them.
Content covers the gap between I know I should be more organized and stuff actually getting done. A must how to book for those who know they should but don't know exactly in detail how to make it happen. He also gives ways to measure your progress that assure you aren't just doing frustrating busy work. This book should be required reading for life.
I first noticed this book while standing in line to board a plane. I asked the guy, "Is it any good?" He looked me dead in the eye and gave an emphatic, "Oh yeah." I have to agree. It really is a "MUST READ" book for anyone serious about communicating ideas.
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