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Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity | [David Allen]

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done has the potential to transform the way you work - and the way you experience work. At any level of implementation, David Allen's entertaining and thought-provoking advice shows you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.
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Publisher's Summary

In today's world of exponentially increased communication and responsibility, yesterday's methods for staying on top just don't work. Veteran management consultant and trainer David Allen recognizes that "time management" is useless the minute your schedule is interrupted; "setting priorities" isn't relevant when your e-mail is down; "procrastination solutions" won't help if your goals aren't clear.

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:

  • Apply the "do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it" rule to get your in-box empty.
  • Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations.
  • Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed.
  • Feel fine about what you're not doing.

    From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done has the potential to transform the way you work - and the way you experience work. At any level of implementation, David Allen's entertaining and thought-provoking advice shows you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.

    ©2002 David Allen, All Rights Reserved; (P)2002 Simon & Schuster Inc., SOUND IDEAS Is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.

  • What the Critics Say

    "[Allen is] the personal productivity guru." (Fast Company)

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    What Members Say

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    4.0 (2643 )
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    4.0 (214 )
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    4.0 (219 )
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    •  
      Chien Sen Cupertino, CA, USA 04-11-04
      Chien Sen Cupertino, CA, USA 04-11-04
      HELPFUL VOTES
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      "very good, well worth the money."

      The author is smart, by borrowing some idea from taoism concept, such as treat your mind like water, etc. this book deals with how to get things done, but in a way of not feeling stressed by the amount of work you will have to do. also, the book talks about the most efficient way to get things done in both mentally and physically. overall i like the book a lot, and recommand to everyone who seeks for "efficiency".

      6 of 6 people found this review helpful
    •  
      John Durham, NC, USA 09-25-03
      John Durham, NC, USA 09-25-03
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      "Changed the way I view my life and work"

      David Allen says to "get everything out of your head and into a system you trust".

      It was this insight that helped me gain control of the "stuff" in my life. Rather than having tens or hundreds of things bouncing around in my head and calling for my attention, I have everything written down in a system that I trust and can focus on one thing at a time.


      Other reviews have complained that the audiobook doesn't contain as much information as the book, but I welcomed the abridgment of the audiobook. They did a good job of including the important stuff. If it were any longer the material wouldn't be as accessible in audio form. If you want more examples or in-depth discussion, buy the book as well, but the audiobook is more than sufficient to implement Allen's system or improve your own system.

      6 of 6 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Michael Hopkinton, MA, USA 06-13-03
      Michael Hopkinton, MA, USA 06-13-03 Member Since 2002
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      "Good information - difficult to get in one pass"

      I think the information here is very good and useful, but listening to it in the car it is hard to pick up on all of the tips and procedures. I plan on listening to it again and buying the book.

      13 of 14 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Kelly santa barbara, CA, USA 02-12-05
      Kelly santa barbara, CA, USA 02-12-05
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      "Not for everyone. Disappointed."

      If you've gone to college or grad school, if you've juggled school and work -- hey, if you're a person who pays their bills on time, this book is not for you. The concepts are so elementary, so basic. Ay.

      If you are looking for help in truly managing complex tasks, find another book. This one literally tells you to buy folders and label them. It even goes so far as to tell you that "inboxes" comes in many forms -- answering machine, email inbox, mailbox. Uh, okay. The book claims to help sort through complexities, but it only acknowleges they exist! You're left wanting more.

      Sadly, this was a waste of my time and money. I've never written a review anywhere before, but felt compelled on this one. Seriously, if you've succesfully juggled at least two things, you're beyond this book. If you would like to learn more about how to balance, make decisions, establish priorities and work toward completion, find another book.

      40 of 45 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Jack San Jose, CA, USA 10-06-05
      Jack San Jose, CA, USA 10-06-05
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      "I'm bummed out...."

      Being fairly organized myself, I think getting things done works at the minute details of how to organize your life in order to get things done. If you like to have someone babysit you through that process, then listen carefully to this book.

      I think it's a fairly straightforward book, little in this book that have I not heard of before nor have I not figured out by myself. I'm bummed out that it's really no magic to Getting Things Done.

      When he spoke about the 31 physical file folder system, I couldn't believe it. It's so impractical! We're in the digital age, not paper filing age. But I do like his emphasis on forcing ourselves to consolidate our organizational techniques to one centralized place. Leads me to think that I really do need a Treo handheld PDA phone.

      There's really no one way to be successfully organized and getting things done. It's merely innate in any one of us and to break our habits of focusing on low priority easy fix things requires a book like 7 Habits or something. If you've read 7 Habits, it's good enough to lead you into a more organized life.

      12 of 13 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Chris ocoee, FL, USA 03-01-04
      Chris ocoee, FL, USA 03-01-04
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      "who is the target here?"

      OK, real quick. The average business person, even a relative newbie is way beyond the "techniques" in this book. This is a good book for domestic engineers with a LOT of tasks and subtasks, a college kid trying to stay on top of his/her studies/clubs/work etc, an administrative assistant, prhaps a VERY BRAND new office employee who still has their price tag and doesn't know where the bathroom is yet. But as a 14 yr manager, I wouldn't want my folks depending on elaborate lists and keep/don't keep quick and dirty decisions to manage their workload and priorities. I would suggest starting with Covey's "First Things First" which, in my humble opinion, is still one of the best books for establishing a solid base of principles for decision making which will pay much higher dividends than a "get more done in an hour" book. Are you BRAND new to multiple simultaneous tasks and just need some type of structure?..sure...this will probably help. Are you a maturing manager of tasks, people or projects OR a battle hardened business vet looking to be more effective....this is not for you. Again, look to Covey, McCormack or the like for more strategy and priciple based techniques.

      70 of 80 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Jane Sylvania, OH, United States 11-22-05
      Jane Sylvania, OH, United States 11-22-05 Member Since 2005
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      "It's All About Getting Organized"

      This book is the most practical guide to getting organized and taking control of your life. Not only will you learn what to do; you'll learn exactly HOW to do it! Incidentally, neither the title nor the description mention organization, but that is the key to being able to get things done! I've implemented some of the ideas, and am starting to get control of the paper blizzard. I will definitely listen to the book again as soon as I'm ready to take a few more steps.

      4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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      11-19-05
      11-19-05 Member Since 2005
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      "Don't like it? You aren't busy enough!"

      I have suffered from "fad" organizational systems to tackle my incredible workload, none of which really catch everything that I have to do or address. His system is simple, straightforward, and very powerful. It is also easy to implement without much income; he is very outcomes oriented and not trying to sell you "his" binder system/organizer/computer program, etc. If you find you are drowning in necessary work, seriously consider this download!

      4 of 4 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Tony 10-14-05
      Tony 10-14-05 Listener Since 2005
      HELPFUL VOTES
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      "Helpful guide to time and resouce management"

      This book teaches strategies to 1. Keep everything out of your head, 2. Decide actions and outcomes when things first emerge on your radar, and 3. Regularly review and update the complete inventory of open loops of your life and work.

      The intended audience are people that have a lot to do and do not have a sound method for organizing and prioritizing. It?s geared towards business professionals however not limited to them. Finally this is a self help book that focuses on the inside out approach. If you're an executive looking to transform your organization, Execution by Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan would be more helpful.

      Most of the content is not new to time and resource management but it does simplify it and give you a set of structured rules to follow. Whether it will help or not depends on how well you adhere to the strategies. In short, for this book to be effective for you, you have to live the book's techniques and not just read it.

      I gave it 4 stars because the content is sound and Dave Allen is a good narrator. I didn't give it 5 stars because the abridged version left some details that are clearer in the unabridged book.

      9 of 10 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Bryan El Dorado Hills, CA, USA 09-19-05
      Bryan El Dorado Hills, CA, USA 09-19-05
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      "common sense advice"

      This book was extremely predictable and dull. The author produced no ground breaking new ways or philosophies on ?getting things done?. Instead he simply goes over common sense practical knowledge processes to accomplish everyday tasks. He basically says organize all the things you need to get done into a list and go down the list one by one. That?s it; nothing more.

      4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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