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)
Upon listening to this audio book, I have put to work a single in-basket that has uncluttered my life. Now, I know what I need to do and where every unfinished item is listed. My workday seems much more in my control.
Anyone who has trouble focusing on projects for any length of time would benefit from David Allen's suggestions.
This audio contains wonderful information on organization systems for work and home. David teaches you how to create them and best use them. HOWEVER, I found myself taking so many notes, I stopped the audio half way through, and decided to just buy the book and use a highlighter. There is so much info, that I felt I was listening to someone reading a grocery list to me. I need more time to take it all in and process. I had to pause and rewind too many times. It is all read so quickly. Check out David Allen's website. It has a wealth of information if you are serious about being organized! =D
The author identified things that I was doing systematically that were wrong. I just accepted these things as part of everyday business. Thinking I was already really well organized, this book identified the flaws of my business systems and now that I've overhauled my work office and my home I can confidently close all of the open loops that would cause me to get stressed out. I'd be alot wealthier if I'd gotten this book ten years ago. I've noticed an IMMEDIATE difference!
I had listened to the earlier, abridged version previously, and this unabridged version is far superior. In fact, I would say it's superior to the printed book too, because a lot of this book is "coaching", where you're expected to be doing something in conjunction with the book. The unabridged version goes into way more depth than the abridged one.
Plus, Allen is again his own narrator, which adds to the feeling of having a coach guiding one into these new practices.
Those who claim this is outdated in the 21st century are missing the point. As Allen repeatedly points out in the book, it's not the medium that's important but the principles behind the method. Once you understand the principles, you can apply them in any medium you like. The good news is (as Allen would say), the principles are not at all difficult to understand. And believe it or not, most of the working world is still paper-based and/or document-centric. So, paper-based examples are the most accessible to the greatest number of listeners. I'm using the GTD method, and about 95% of my working world is digital (I'm a web developer).
Getting Things Done (GTD) is an incredible book that, when applied, has made a dramatic difference not only in how I work, but also how I feel about work.
I am much less stressed than a few weeks ago, and feel more equipped to handle new projects as they arrive. As an IT Administrator on a tight budget with supervisors that dream big and commit to technology-dependent projects before talking with me, stress was very high and projects were slipping through the cracks.
By implementing some of the GTD principles, I haven't had anything new slip through the cracks. Best of all, it isn't a "system" in the traditional sense, it is a set of principles on how our brains process information, and how we can best take advantage of those processes. I still use paper files, online task lists, and my existing email client. I have not made many changes to my existing system, I'm just using it better than I was a month ago.
The change has been noticed by others, and after sharing a few concepts their jobs have become much less stressful.
If you have way too much to get done, or if you are easily stressed at work, I strongly recommend this book. If you are already organized and nothing is falling through the cracks while you are calm, cool, and collected 24/7, then this may not be the book for you.
I've had the paperback book and the abridged CDs for quite some time now. This unabridged version is much greater than the sum of those two mediums. I now have every word/element/concept of the GTD book but on a portable medium that I can take with me on my ipod. (The abridged CD version did me no good as it left out enormous amounts of the GTD concepts and tools.) This unabridged audiobook is over 7 hours long, chock full of great stuff, and easy to flip to different chapters.
*Don't forget to download the Reference Materials from the book description page on the bottom*
I am normally not one to write reviews but this was such an incredible book that I wanted to make sure that I can reach out to anyone who is debating buying this book. I really needed a way to get my self organized and no matter what I tried I always fell short. I read several time and stress management books prior to this one that were so terrible that I was very reluctant to read this one. If you are in this same situation, GET THIS BOOK! This had an impact on my family life, my career and my state of mind. If you use all the tricks and methods listed in this book you will never again forget anything as far as to-do and scheduling and your mind will be more clear for bigger things. The best book I have ever read! This is also the only book that I have read over and over again because you still learn after the fourth or fifth time of reading it. It is that loaded with information.
I found out about this book from the short video on YouTube of David Allen training some Google executives. I find his approach to work flow realistic and practical: get the "today" stuff under control as a means to allow for higher levels of thinking and strategy. As he says in the beginning of the book, even if you don't take his approach whole cloth you will likely find plenty of "tricks" in this book that you can use in your existing approach to your work. Beyond that, there is also a benefit to looking over someone else's shoulder at their approach to work. Just hearing how someone else approaches to-do lists and in-baskets can help you think through your own. I've found Allen's book very helpful to my work, and my only criticism is his use of his own terminology and "business speak." I don't know if words like tickler file, capture, stake in the ground, collection buckets, open loops, etc. are common to most workplaces, but they were not common to mine. Having any one of Allen's terms used in a sentence was not tough, but when he strings them together it can make it hard to follow on the first read-through. Once you get used to his terminology you're fine. It's a MINOR criticism and should not be prohibitive to your getting this great resource. Finally, I always appreciate it when an author will read the unabridged audio of his/her own work. Enjoy.
I was very excited about this book when I first downloaded it. But now, at Chapter 7, I am finding it harder and harder to listen to. While his system seems to make sense, this book is written for upper management corporate types who have a secretary or assistant to delegate to, a spouse and kids to manage, and a credenza to pile things on. As a freelancer working in a creative field, I found his lingo, examples and orientation not only to be inapplicable to me but kind of a turn-off. While I think I will be able to take his system and make it work for me (if I manage to get through the whole book) I wish he would do a revision for people who work outside the corporate world.
SciFi and Business Productivity
This is not really a motivational book. It is practical and usable information for organizing and processing the mental clutter for your corporate and home life. Some of it feels outdated since it was written in 2002 and focuses heavily on the world of paper files, email, and mentions older programs. But, he is pretty clear though that you need to use the system that you'll actually use. I manage nicely with an iPhone and the 2Do app with minimal paper (though he did convince me to set up and use my file drawer anyway.) The base information is timeless and easily applied to modern programs.
Like many books of this nature it has about 5 minutes of principles and spends hours explaining how and why to apply it. Don't be discouraged by this. It takes about halfway through the book to figure out that having a simple and usable method for organizing your life is far better than the way that most of us wing it or rush from fire to fire. I've been applying this and it's started to lift the crushing weight of my to do list and let me focus on being productive.
Also check out the gtdtimes website for lots of free info.
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