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Getting Things Done

Our GTD® podcasts are here to support you at every stage of your GTD practice. You will hear David Allen and others interviewing people from all walks of life about their journey with GTD, from beginners to those who have been at it for years. The podcasts include personal and professional stories, as well as practical tips about GTD systems for desktop and mobile, using apps and paper. Start listening now and you'll be well on your way to stress-free productivity.
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Now displaying: 2020
May 3, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
Rearrange Space

Often times I think we just go numb to the spaces that we've gotten used to. Where we work at home, how we cook at home, how we live in our living rooms, or dens, or wherever. Sometimes space makes a huge difference, and there are times when it's time to then re-think. Should I rearrange this room? Should I rearrange how we're doing? Ask yourself, how are you living? Where are you spending your time? A lot of people have gone unconscious and whole environments have gone unconscious. Living room, people often don't live in their living room. They live in, usually, in the kitchen or the den, or wherever. It's an interesting exercise to go through. What's the purpose of this room? And is it really arranged appropriately? Like I would really want it, or what would be maximal for me.

Especially if you've just transitioned to having to work a lot of time from home. A real good idea, if you haven't done this already, is to look around your work space. Is it arranged appropriately? I was just reading that the small desk purchases around the world have gone up tremendously Of course, people are now trying to set up a home office, or reconfigure their home office. So that's a real good thing to do, make sure that your office, and your space, when you sit down to work, and think, and to do creative things, is arranged appropriately. So maybe you need to rearrange, look around your room, is it the way it should be? If you had to start from scratch again, would you arrange it the way it is? Hopefully that gives you some ideas, maybe some creative things to do a down time.

May 3, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
The Night Before

People have often interviewed or asked me, How do I spend my day? What kind of rituals do I have to sort of stay on top of my game on a consistent basis? The one thing that I really do consistently, and I share with people is what I call "My day starts the night before”.

Before I go to bed, or sometime in the evening what I do is pull up my calendar and look at the next 1, 2, 3 days, maybe the week. Just to get a sense of, what does the landscape look like? In terms of the hard landscape, the things I'm committed to have to do, I need to be in that meeting, that virtual meeting at 3 o'clock, I need to be able to tomorrow, to make sure to that I pick up X Y Z, whatever.

So, I do that the night before. First of all, because I love to sleep, It allows me to sleep as long as I can before I actually have to do something. Also, I'm not surprised when I get into my day. There are enough surprises we have to deal with. I want to be able to tee myself up, or get myself prepared, before I go to sleep.

I think, my hypothesis is that overnight, in the sleep state, that gives us an opportunity to integrate the stuff and make us feel more comfortable in the landscape, in terms of how we're engaging with ourselves. I highly recommend it, if you're not doing it already, maybe you are but that every evening you sit down, take a look at the next day, 2, 3, maybe the week.

Take a look at the forest you're managing, instead of just hugging the trees. and allow yourself to then relax and sleep, as best and as long as can, or as much as you need to. And then make sure your day is not a surprise.

May 3, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
Current Reality: How Do You Feel?

We need to make sure that we're really clear about what's true in space and time right now. Even if we have a positive direction we need to know where we are so we know whether to go left or right from where we are, but we need to start with where we are and not necessarily resist whatever the current reality is.

You've got to start from a real base. And this one might be a little challenging, but this is one I call Current Reality: How Do You Feel? What are the feelings going on? What's the emotional state that you're in?

Not that you should necessarily reinforce that, or spin in that. Or think that that's a good thing, to be worried, to be afraid, to be confused. Those are common kinds of emotions that we have often times in turbulent times. But you need to acknowledge that you've got it. You don't want to repress it, you don't want to stuff it down.

The environment around you, certainly people that are close to you, will know whether or not that you're really true to yourself, in terms of, hey here's what I'm feeling right now. But the way out is through. You don't try to get past that by ignoring it, or stuffing it down and not acknowledging it. Not that you should stay in it, but you need to acknowledge where you are.

Once you do that it becomes a lot easier to sort of grab yourself by your own boot straps emotionally How would I now like to feel? What could I do that might move me toward a more positive, emotional state and energy state?

People often think Getting Things Done and the GTD methodology doesn't deal with emotions. It actually does. You have to deal with what's the current reality that you're in. The current reality may be, I feel like this, and I'd like to feel like that. That's a great place to start, sometimes a little challenging.

May 3, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
What Does the Still Small Voice Tell You To Do?

This one may sound a little strange as a tip, but it's one that has served me for my 74 plus years. Trying to make a priority decision... What do I do right now? How do I do that?

There's no algorithm, there's no formula that you can really trust. The one I found to trust, is basically your intuition, or your spirit, or whatever kind of word you're not allergic to. That says, wait a minute, there's part of me that probably knows more about all of this then maybe even my conscious mind is capable of grasping all at one time.

So being able to trust your intuitive judgement, that's a cool thing to do. Truly, a whole lot of people are so in chaos, that they can't tell the difference between intuition and indigestion. But I think we all, if you just quiet yourself, just for a couple of minutes, and listen What should I do next? What's the most important thing I need to do? What would make the biggest difference to me and the ecosystem I'm in and the people I'm engaged with right now? What would be that?

And just being able to build in that habit where you stop and listen, just for that still small voice. To make the choice about all the options of things to do. Come on, we all have more to do than we can do for sure. But the whole idea is to feel confident and comfortable about your choices. And I think the best way to do that, certainly has been for me. Is to stop, listen, and trust that inner voice, that kind of knows what's up.

And it loves me, and it pays attention to me.

May 3, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
Capture Tools Everywhere

When things pop into your head that you're going to need to think about, deal with, do something about have to make a decision about or whatever that's potentially relevant to you.

Then you need to make sure you get those out of your head and capture them because your head is a terrible office, it'll fool you because you think of it you're sure you won't forget whatever that is but two minutes later you're thinking of the next thing you don't want to forget but you forgot the first thing.

So you need capture tools. So, mine are low tech for the most part. No batteries, no Wi-Fi required. This is with me all the time. A pen and a little pad. When I'm sitting down anywhere that's a flat surface longer then a few a minutes, I've got a pad and a pen, can't beat it.

Who knows when lightning is going to strike, something's are going to occur to me I need to deal with. Particularly while I'm working on other things and dealing with other things something comes from the side and hits me. Right then I want to be able to write it down. If you're having to look for a capture tool, you won't do it, you'll miss it.

I would highly recommend that wherever your work space is and certainly even in your home space that you have a place where you, and also other people, if you live with other people that they can have a place to also write things down and capture stuff out of your head.

Your head's a terrible office, you can't keep track of more than four things in your head without diminishing your cognitive process, and so it's the very first step. If you're familiar with the GTD or Getting Things Done methodology, you know that's a critical first step, which is capture, but you're not going to capture if you don't have the tools with you. So make sure you've got good capture tools around.

They can be digital, they can be paper based. I like low tech. I think it's fast, it's much easier. That's not my permanent system, It's a place though as a placeholder, and an important placeholder to be able to get the stuff out of my head, so that I stop spinning on that and then know I'll come back to it and not lose the idea.

Apr 28, 2020

David Allen offers a Two-minute Tip: Catch Up

Hi. David Allen. Two minute tip for turbulent times. This one's called, Catch up. Now, obviously in turbulent times we're often kind of up to here with stuff to do, but you're likely to have some downtime. Some time where the most productive thing to do might be to clean up the backlog. That is to bring up the rear guard, as we say. For instance, how current is your bank balance, your investments? How sharp are your kitchen knives? How well have you fertilized your garden for the spring or the summer? What's up, what's out there that you say I need to catch that up? I'm not totally current with whatever that's about. And that may be some of the best things you could do is to go find something that you need to catch up because by the way, the smaller the backlog of outdated things or things that are not current, the cleaner and clearer it is to deal with surprise and new things coming towards you. So the best thing to do right now, if you have some windows to do that, is to look around and say what needs catching up to get current? So that's my two minute tip for turbulent times. Catch up.

Apr 28, 2020

David Allen offers a Two-minute Tip: Fix or Finish Something Simple:

David Allen with a two minute tip for turbulent times. This one is called fix or finish something simple. You know, many times when we are in a situation where, golly, it's easy to be worrying, it's easy to be hung up, it's easy to be procrastinating, it's easy to be maybe confused about what your priorities are or what you need to do. Sometimes the best thing to do is to aim low and close and get a cheap win real quick. Like right now. I'll bet if you looked around your environment, you'd find a number of things that would not take you but a few minutes to fix or finish, or to deal with and it's been kind of not necessarily bothering you in a big way, but bugging you and you know it's something you need to do at some point, you need to move this over there. You need to take that off the wall. You need to replace a light bulb that's been out. You need to take some WD40 and lubricate a door or something that's been squeaking. There's a number of things like that, I'll bet in your environment. And those are just really great to get some cheap, quick wins for that. I know that sounds really mundane, but I've discovered there's magic in the mundane. Many, many times I just need to stop and go finish something just because it allows my brain to clear itself, allows me to get positive, get focused, and actually many times what happens is, is I'm doing that, or certainly if I finished doing that, I get this little win, I get this little burst of energy, like, yeah, then I'm thinking on perhaps a more strategic level is perhaps more important things that I want to be thinking about in a more positive way. So keep it simple. Go find something simple to finish or fix or do in a few minutes. Give yourself a win. Pat yourself on the back. A tip for turbulent times.

Mar 17, 2020

Bruce Fetzer took a productivity training with David Allen in the 1980s. Since then he has been applying what he learned. His work with the John E. Fetzer Memorial Trust has been his major focus in the last few years. The mission of the trust is to advance integrated, relational views of reality through exploring scientific frontiers and universal spiritual practices. David Allen engages Bruce in a discussion of the role of business in doing good work through meta-science, or the study of the scientific method. They also explore how to integrate inner life with outer action.

Feb 5, 2020

In this episode, David shares some useful insights regarding how we already plan projects when we're at our best: The Natural Planning Model.  He contrasts this behavior with the much more common unnatural or reactive planning models.  You'll also learn about the importance of vision and principles when planning, and a practical way to get stagnant projects moving again.  

Jan 3, 2020

Today we have three separate, rare segments pulled from the archives on different concepts that are all related to memory and performance improvement.  First, you’ll hear a segment regarding the idea of mental RAM, and what happens when we leave unclosed loops open in our lives.  Next, you’ll learn about multitasking vs. rapid refocusing and how that state helps us scale our performance.  And third, you’ll learn a few handy uses for checklists in order to continuously improve over time.  

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