getting things done

The other day I finished reading this book, Getting Things Done. The title pretty well explains what it's about. The book provides an organizational system to help people feel less stressed out and more on top of things. Throughout the book, David Allen, the author, details a system and provides sound reasoning for it. The system involves a lot of things that seem like common sense but so often don't happen. Upon first glance I thought the book was a bit anal retentive but after finishing it I am totally sold on Allen's way of doing things. Basically it boils down to getting a system in place that you can empty your mind into, where you can dump everything that comes your way, and trust that nothing is falling through the cracks. When there are so many different responsiblities and roles in life it can often be a stressful thing wondering what you're forgetting or what you're not doing.

With everything I have doing on I sometimes feel guilty for relaxing, or when I'm having time off I'm always thinking about what I'm not doing or what I'm forgetting or what I should be spending my time working on. It's difficult for me to completely relax and be okay with it. So getting something like this in place is proving to be quite helpful. One of my favorite things about the system is the idea of a contextual to-do list. Instead of having a to-do list where I have somewhat pointless categories like "Youth Ministry" or "Husband" or whatever to track the things I have to do, I have a to-do list based on where I am. I have a list for "@Computer," "@Phone," "@Office," and so on. I have my other projects and whatnot better organized, so everything on my to-do list is a specific physical next action for each thing on my various plates. This way I'm not constantly worrying about what I'm not doing or missing.

Anyway, if you're somebody with a lot of different responsibilities or things to do and get stressed out or have a hard time relaxing I really suggest you take a look at this book. Even if you're not a Palm-carrying busybody I bet it could help you become more productive and feel more on top of things in your life. Of course nobody will want to implement everything in the book exactly how it is, but in reading through it you should get a lot of good principles and ideas to help you deal with what life throws at you. I dig it and am enjoying implementing it. Maybe you will too.

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