Time management #2 The Process of Getting Things Done by David Allen

In the previous time management article, I wrote about the process of prioritizing tasks and managing them, that was Dr. Stephen Covey’s method. There are many ways to be more productive, many self-help gurus illustrated their own process of getting things done. And now, as there are plenty of ways to be more productive we get to choose the one is suitable for our lifestyle among them.

If you haven’t read the previous article on time management read it here first.

“You can do anything but not everything.”~ David Allen

In his book Getting Things Done, David Allen focused on his method of managing tasks and time. The process is a stress-free way to be more productive. He focuses on how to set up and follow a daily to-do list without getting frustrated.


At the beginning we start with creating a list of all the things that seems to be get done, these are labeled “Stuff” and the list is “Basket”. And then the main process starts by asking few questions and choosing a preferred action based on the answers, for each task.


This is the first gate of sorting is to know if it’s an actual task or not. For example arranging books by color is not a task, it’s probably a distraction based on your mood.

If the answer is NO:

  • Trash: Forget about the task.
  • Someday: Maybe it was a wish. You can do it anytime in future (Forget for now).
  • Reference: Leave it on the list because you may need it, but it’s not necessary.

Or if the answer is YES:

Ask the next question.

Q2. What’s the NEXT ACTION?

  • Planning: Plan for the steps to finish the task.
  • Reviewing: Review the plan to make it better. Know what are the outcomes and requirements of doing this particular task.

When your plan is ready ask the next question.

Q3. Will it take less than 2 MINUTES?

If the answer is YES:

  • Do it: If the task requires less than couple of minutes to get done, it’s always is a smart choice to get it done.

Or if the answer is NO:

  1. Delegate it
  • Waiting: Look for someone else to handle this.
  1. Defer it
  • Calendar: Set a specific time for the day to finish it.
  • Next actions: If the task has to be done ASAP start taking action over it.

Know more about GTD by David Allen. Read the complete book (HIGHLY  RECOMMENDED!!!) to get it master your productive time.

Click here to get this book from Amazon.com

In the end, always remember to start with not more than 10 tasks on the list, then review, schedule and take action on them.


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