Saturday, October 09, 2010

Getting Things Done

I haven't been blogging much in the last couple of months, and with good reason: a new job, complete with learning curve and travel, and consequently a paring back on other activities.   A good friend told me that getting settled in to a new job typically takes three to six months, which sounds about right.

Anyhoo, as part of my drive to get more organized in my new gig (and generally), I finally picked up a copy of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen -- perplexingly re-titled "How to Get Things Done" for the Australian edition -- something of a "sacred text" for the geeky Lifehacking movement.

Here's an article from Wired magazine Getting Things Done Guru David Allen and His Cult of Hyperefficiency that delves into the somewhat colorful background of the author.

A synopsis of the approach, given at Google (46 minutes):

What I hadn't realised previously, and what the video and the book make quite clear is that GTD is in many ways an application of a few martial arts principles to the very modern problem of having too much on one's plate.  The author claims past experience as a karate instructor, and builds much of his approach around working towards an ideal state of having a "mind like water".  Rationalism plus martial arts: what's not to like?

For those not ready for the somewhat daunting transformation that an approach like GTD entails, there is the highly amusing structured procrastination, which I recommend reading, but would counsel against adopting!