Getting Things Done

I’m busy at the moment. With an assignment due in as part of my course in 3 weeks I’ve switched from thinking about it to doing it and, as always when you start with the blank sheet of paper, I’m panicking.

As part of my current unit we’re reflecting on ourselves. Something that, at the start of the unit I didn’t really buy into but on reflection (reflecting on reflecting) something I’ve found interesting.

I’ve started my assignment back to front – beginning with the Action Plan (following a series of self-awareness tests I’ve been doing) and, once this is established will start work on the theory of psychological types (exploring Jung and Briggs) and Experiential Learning (focusing on Kolb).

Having looked at my actions a key thing that’s come out is my ability to multi-task, hit deadlines and be hugely productive but, at the same time, inefficient. I’m a victim of distraction and an absolute nightmare to concentrate on a primary v’s secondary task. To try to frame my thinking I types into Google “Efficiencies in managing workload” and, unsurprisingly, got millions of results back. Interestingly one stuck out, David Allen and his business philosophy of GTD or (Getting Things Done). I’m not normally one to delve into self-help or management books but this philosophy has intrigued me. He claims to be able to give small tools to help with prioritising tools – working on a 5 step cycle to ensure you GTD in your professional or personal life:

  1. Collect
  2. Process
  3. Organize
  4. Review
  5. Do

None of these steps are revolutionary and we all probably do these in one way or the other in our day to day lives but the interesting technique here is to actually spend time to think about our approach. I, like most people, rely on a To Do list to keep track of whats coming up. This is the way I collect, Process, Organize, review and Do. I expect this one list to achieve all of these things and be responsible for ensuring I’m productive.

The 5 steps are separate entities and, although interlinked, shouldn’t be addressed through one tool. I’ve not practiced GTD yet (having only found out about it this afternoon) but this is one book I plan on reading and seeing if the application and content of this is something that can be used in an agency environment or whether my sturdy To Do List is as efficient as it’s gonna get!

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Posted on February 15, 2009, in Masters research and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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