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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: Page 5
May 28, 2020

Well, you may already have a groove, but I imagine your groove has been disturbed to a large degree by whatever has been going on in the world lately. And especially in turbulent times, it's going to disturb your groove. Get into a new one.

So ask yourself. What about my groove do I need to put into a groove? That I can comfortably now, given the world, and given what's been going on. Whether that's when to take a walk, how often you need to exercise, how often you need to talk to people you need to talk to people about. Any of that. It's a good idea to get into a groove, because some part of us really loves to have a habit, it loves to have something traditional that we do regularly. So that we don't have to be thinking so much about that. But we use that as an opportunity to sort of lift our thinking, relax. Kind of look at the world from a higher perspective of things.

So what's your groove now? Does your groove work? If it doesn't, think about what would you need to do to improve your groove? I highly recommend that you think about that. And think, what are the simple things you could do? They don't have to be complex, or expensive, or anything. What do I need to do to get myself into a more regular, consistent basis? To handle the world that's now changed for me and that I need to be engaging with appropriately.

So, are you in your groove? If not, what do you need to do to improve your groove? And boy that could look like a lot of different things. But give yourself permission to be creative about that. Reflect a little bit on that, and perhaps take any necessary actions you need to take, to make that groove sort of more automatic and easy to do.

May 28, 2020

I'll quote my wonderful wife Kathryn. Laughter and Soap. At some point you just need to laugh, and you need to clean up. She sort of nailed it brilliantly.

If you haven't done it lately, at least look for a good joke. At least find some way to find something to laugh about. Something funny, something that makes no sense. Those are always wonderful things to do.

And soap, obviously clean up. I've been trained by my wife, when I walk in the door, Wash your hands David! Which I do. And I have to laugh about my hair, which I usually keep fairly short. Pretty soon I'm going to look like I looked in Berkeley in 1970. But that's ok, so I'm kind of laughing about, well David you're gonna have longer hair until your favorite barber comes back in a little while.

So anyway, a small little tip for turbulent times, but sometimes it might be quite healthy just to make sure you sort of plug into your world, laughter and soap, and make sure those are sort of regular things. that you engage in and people around you. I hope that's helpful, I know it's silly but it works for me.

May 28, 2020

In these kinds of times, that's actually in retrospect when we find out we've learned how to grow. We've expanded. We've stretched ourselves. We've challenged ourselves, we've had to look at things from whole new perspectives.

So my tip is to shorten that time of reflection and introspection about what these times could mean for us. What we could learn. What you might be doing differently after this in terms of relationships, in terms of your systems, in terms of how you're approaching your career. Your world. Given what we've been dealing with.

I'm not saying they're easy answers to that. But again, you won't find answers until you ask the questions. So my tip is, as I have to challenge myself regularly, What am I learning now, given what I'm dealing with? What can I do differently? What will this bring to the plate? In terms of how I could approach my world differently and what I might be able to do more successfully, or more elegantly, more easily, given what I've learned.

Learning happens in challenging times, not when times are easy. So I highly recommend you take advantage as best you can. Understand this is not the easiest thing to do, when things are stressful and things are on you and you're so distracted by a lot of what you may be dealing with. But it's also a good time to sit back, reflect, meditate, relax. Reflect and think. What could I be learning now? Reflect and think. What could I be learning now? What could I be doing differently now? And start to build that into your life and your work.

May 28, 2020

Out of the box here... I Am Unreasonably Joyful.

That's an affirmation I've actually used for many many years. And when I heard it, or when I thought of it, I thought, what a cool thing to do. To just take me out of the box. I'm unreasonably joyful.

Given the world we're in, and especially the times we're in being joyful about anything seems to be one of the hardest things to do. But if you want a real tip, to just kind of break yourself out of some of the code that we're in. You'll think better, when you're happier, when you're more up, when you have more positive energy. And so creating the affirmation to me, was a useful bandaid to use when things were like insane. When it made no sense to be joyful or happy.

And so it's just a big tip. Give yourself permission, for at least a minute, to just pretend that there are all kinds of things to be joyful about. So, be unreasonably joyful. It's a great thing to do. Also, learn to do that when you're in these kinds of stressful up against the wall kind of times. It's a great great thing to do. It's a great tip. It's a great tip I've used for myself, and still have to use on a regular basis. I'm unreasonably joyful, look at my peonies behind me, they so represent that. Ba Da!!

May 28, 2020

Actually, it's a tip I'd give anybody any time.

And those of you familiar with the Getting Things Done methodology will know this already. The Two Minute Tool.

The Two Minute Tool basically says, look, any action you've figured out that you could actually complete within two minutes, of where you are in the context you are, in the location you are, you're better off to that right then than to hang up on it, not do it, put it in the backlog or whatever.

Frankly, that's the efficiency factor. It would take you less than two minutes to do it, but it would take you longer than two minutes to look at it again and review it and reflect on it later on. So this is a pure efficiency factor of the Two Minute Rule.

Anything you can do in less than two minutes, if you need to do it at all then do it right then. And people say, well if I spent my whole day two minute stuff I'd never get anything else done. Well first of all, you'd be amazed as to how many strategic things have just a two minute action that are required on it. And not only that, why should these things still be around?

You either delete them, or if they've shown up, then they should be finished in the moment they're there. I never have any backlog of two minute stuff because they're all done.

First of all, the key thing is to decide what's the very next action on something I need to do about any of this change that's happening, any of this stuff I'm involved in right now. What would I need to do next? Once you've decided very clearly and specifically what that is if you can do it in less then two minutes, do it right then. Teflon, boom! In and out. You'll be amazed. I've had many executives tell me that was worth the price of admission. Just for that habit, if they didn't have that already. So hopefully you've built that in, or you will build that in.

If it takes less then two minutes, do it.

May 7, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
Clean Up Your Computer

Now if you haven't done this already, and you have some down time, or at home time, or whatever. Then, come on guys, it's like when you get your car washed, or your motorcycle washed, or whatever, it drives better. Well very much the same thing with your computer.

Come on, this is like a master tool if you're doing any kind of knowledge work at all. This is reference, this is creativity, this is communications. This is your work. And so it's really nice to make sure that this doesn't become like a black hole. It starts to get clogged up with a lot of old stuff. The more old stuff I found that accumulate in my computer the less anxious, or the less interested I am in looking back for something or going back into that area.

But there's a lot of creativity that will show up if you actually do that. Like email, what's your backlog? The bigger your backlog of email, the more any kind of change or surprise is going to be bothersome, even the good stuff. So clean up email. There's a lot of tips you'll see on my YouTube channel about just dealing with email and that backlog.

I met somebody with thousands of Evernote notes in there, that they never looked at. As they said it's kinda write-only, as opposed to read-only. You stick stuff in, but you never then get back to it. So it's very important that your reference material, and all that stuff, as best you can, is just brought current. So maybe there's stuff you need to move into the cloud, stuff you need to put into Dropbox. Things you need to reorganize, or reframe, or refresh, or whatever.

But a real good idea to just look around, and if you've got some down time, one of the best kind of dummy things to do, is clean up. Clean up your digital world. It will help a ton.

May 7, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
Areas of Focus, Responsibility and Interests

Revisit or Create an Overview of Your Areas of Focus, Responsibility and Interests It's a different horizon of your commitments. You've got actions you need to take, and you've got projects you need to finish. But the reason you have actions, and projects is because they respond to or they relate to areas of focus and interests.

For instance, you may have a project about your kids, well that's because obviously kids and family will be an area of focus. You may have a project about your health, in which case heath and your physical energy is an area of interest or focus. So it's a next level of abstraction, a useful place to visit, especially when things are changing a lot. Where you might need to revisit these different areas and say, how's everything doing?

This is like being your own CEO, your own executive, essentially, for your life. Looking across all of your roles, and responsibilities, and accountabilities. If you haven't done this lately, not a bad idea just to brainstorm it. You could just do a mind map. Spiritual Life - Relationships - Fun - My Health - Family

It's a way to overview, essentially, sort of the whole context, so that there's a part of you that feels like you're more grounded in space and time, from the larger gestalt. Very helpful thing to do, we've done that over the years, for many thousands of people, who've gone through that exercise. And it's extremely valuable. And it might surprise you, what you'll come up with. If you really identify those things accurately and appropriately and say How am I doing about that?

Some of those may be on cruise control, hey that's all fine. Oh, that reminds me, I need to, I better take a look at that, better look at it from that perspective. So getting grounded essentially from that little longer or larger horizon. Very valuable thing to do, especially when things are changing fast. So that some part of you doesn't feel that you're losing your footing, in terms of the whole game.

May 7, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
Get Your Cockpit Under Control

What I mean by that is, your workspace. Where when you sit down, you are ready to fly, you're ready to go. You don't have to rearrange anything in order to be able to do your best work. There's mine, it's been quite functional for several years, something like this. And I don't mean particularly anal or compulsive about this. You just want to not have to rearrange things, look for things, when you're ready to just go to work. And so sit down and be able to do that.

Another important aspect of that is I would highly recommend you do not share that space with anybody else. You don't want them rearranging it for themselves and then you have to come back and rearrange it in order to get work done.

You want to lower the barrier of entry to engage. You've got a bright idea, you're in the kitchen, you've suddenly thought about something that you need to send an email about or want to surf the web about, or whatever. You need to be able to run right in, sit down, and hit the controls, right there.

So you know, simple stuff, just in basket, computer, tools, scissors, pens and so forth. Certainly a writing instrument, a capture tool, to be able to capture stuff right away. As well as right at hand files and folders, etc.

Assess, if you haven't done it lately, you might want to look around. Is your workspace set up so that right at any time, you can go to work? And work, meaning anything you might want to do. Based upon being in your cockpit, central control center. And be able to then, navigate, communicate, coordinate, things from there. Get Your Cockpit Under Control If it's not already, or look at how you might want to enhance it.

May 7, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
One Bad Apple Can Spoil the Barrel

So this is a cautionary tale. There are times when one situation, project, or circumstance that's particularly important to you, you're not appropriately engaged with yet can color the whole rest of your life, and make it all feel grey, and solemn, and burdensome. Where as it's really just one situation that you need to get ahold of.

You know, our Getting Things Done methodology is a lot about creating appropriate engagement with the things that you're committed to do. Are you appropriately engaged with this project? Or with this relationship? Or with your health, etc. And appropriate engagement just means you've identified what it is, what outcome you're after, the action step you need to take to move it forward. and have a trusted system to hold all that. But any one thing, if you're not doing that yet, if you have not yet gotten to that place of appropriate engagement. Can, as I said, discolor the whole rest of your life, emotionally and everything else.

It can then make the whole game feel overwhelming Whereas it's only coming from only one source, or one thing that you need to sort of tackle, and to grapple with. And that is, identify what that thing is, that seems to be coloring everything and get appropriately engaged with it.

I'm not saying this is easy, folks come on. If life were easy, you'd never grow or challenge, or expand, or express yourself. It's really about how do I get in the driver's seat about that? So it doesn't color my life and sort of affect all the other things I could be doing. So in a way you need to isolate it, identify it, and get appropriately engaged with it.

May 7, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
Renegotiate Your Commitments

See a lot of what the Getting Things Done methodology is about has been about inventorying what your commitments are. What have you agreed with yourself you need, would, could, should, ought to be doing, handling or whatever. And so managing those commitments is a whole lot of what the methodology is about to keep yourself clear, so that you don't feel like you're constantly having to do all of those.

There's an inherent renegotiation process that needs to happen. Once you've externalized these commitments out of your head You write it down, I need dog food, I need to hire a vice president, I need to figure out where to send my kid to school next year, etc. And those commitments, as you may know, that's very important to make sure get that inventory nice and clear, about what those are.

But now in turbulent times, that becomes extra important, to make sure you're looking forward at all those commitments you've got. All those things on your lists. All those appointments that you thought you had. All those relationships that you thought you needed to do something about. How many of those need to be renegotiated right now? And if they're not renegotiated, they will keep spinning on some subliminal level. That's going to undermine your energy, it's going to take wind out of your sails.

So it's a real good idea to make sure that you sit down, maybe in a week to review. As we coach in Getting Things Done, at least once a week, step back, take a look across the whole broad spectrum, of your life and work, look at all the commitments you've got, the meetings you've got, the projects you've committed to, and say wait a minute, that goes on someday maybe, or that has to wait until after this situation has been cleared up and changed, or whatever.

So, a real good idea to make sure you bring yourself current, bring up the rear guard, with those commitments, and sometimes they're pretty subtle.

May 6, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
Catch Up Your Communications with People

Another nice thing to do especially in terms of catching up, it's often times subtle. And depending on your personality style about how much you engage with other people.

Who do you owe a thank you to? Who do you owe a communication with to update them? All the best things in my life have actually come from relationships that I've had. Surprising serendipitous stuff. But as a bit of an introvert, I actually am. I often times have to work at making sure that I maintain my communications externally, and that I nurture them and take advantage of that.

I highly recommend you think about, what are just some emails to shoot off, simple little things, or come on, get some note cards and write a hand written note. Those things are invaluable, as you probably know. That's another little thing to do, you might want to consider as a project maybe, is you catch up on all of those communications, with family, with friends with network, professional associates, etc. Especially these days when everybody is locked in and not available there. Those kinds of things could have tremendous value. Just in terms of keeping the network warm, and not feeling so mechanical and that we're all so locked down, and out of touch with each other.

May 6, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
What's Really Got Your Attention?

Many of my tips are about sort of catching up, and simple things to do kind of keep your energy up, clean things up, catch up. This one is a big one.

What circumstance, situation that you're in right now, if that were put onto cruise control, or if you were appropriately engaged with that would make the biggest difference? Would give you the most physic space essentially. Would relieve the most pressure on you. Sometimes that's the thing you need to grapple with.

Interestingly, what you think may have your most attention...Once you recognize what has your attention, you may then discover what really has your attention. It can go to some pretty subtle and sublime and deep levels, if you allow it to. Nothing wrong with that, nothing bad about that, as a matter of fact, it's a very powerful thing to do, and to think about.

So I highly recommend that you take a little bit of time and say "What most has your attention?" And then "What do you need to do to appropriately engage with that?" So it gets off your mind, gets onto cruise control, gets onto wherever it needs to be.

And as you know, if you're a Getting Things Done practitioner, it's all about what's the outcome you're after, and what's the action step you need to take, to move forward on that. Powerful stuff, I have to hold myself to this regularly as well. Even after all these years of working with the materials, I'm a fellow student.

What most has your attention? Define what that is, define what you need to do about that, to put that onto cruise control. That could give you the most freedom, the most space of anything else you might be able to do.

May 6, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
Worst Case Scenario Building

I know this may sound a little strange, but one of the best and healthiest things you can do is to actually do a scenario of the worst case, and then imagine you getting through that. And could you handle it? Because the worst case scenario is likely to be banging around subliminally anyway. What you need to do is to relieve that pressure, and the way out is through.

The best thing to do is to sit down and figure out, what could the worst case be? Can I and could we, tolerate that? That will relieve a bunch of pressure and give you much more freedom to focus on wild success. Obviously you don't want to be dwelling on the negative picture. You don't want to sit there and be fatalistic or dwell in some sort of negative picture building. But you do want to go through that and take a look. That allows you a lot more freedom to then focus effectively and productively as you kind of shoot down the middle.

Prepare for the worst, or at least be ready for it, if in case it happens. Imagine the best, and shoot down the middle. My tip for turbulent times.

When the pandemic first hit, that very much effected our business, and our income, so I had to sit down and I just pulled up an Excel spreadsheet and ran the numbers for the next year or so. Could we tolerate it? Could we manage it? Yes we could. Now ideally we don't have to or won't have to do that. It allowed me the freedom to then not have that lurking in the background as some sort of a concern. Can I handle the worst case if I can't get to my barber for another month? Worst case might be I'll look like I did in Berkeley in 1970. Or maybe the worst case is I'll be attacked by my wife and her dog shearing tools while I'm asleep and wake up with something a little shorter then it is. Anyway, do the worst case scenario, get through it, relax, and focus on the best.

May 6, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
Labelers

I know that may sound a little dumb and dorky, when you're in a turbulent time to think about a labeler. What's a labeler? Any of you old GTD practitioners probably know how adamant I've been about the value of labeling things. Being able to have a typeset labeler. If you're not doing anything else, order yourself a labeler, if you don't have one already. You'd be amazed at how much of a difference it makes, to make sure your files look like that, and have nice labels on them. It does make a difference.

A lot of people say they had no idea how much of a difference just a labeler would make. In terms of how I manage myself, my information, access to it. Labels can be used for anything, they can be used for file folders obviously, but they could also be used for plastic bags, where you're keeping track of pills, or you're keeping track of electronic equipment, or just wrapping a label around a piece of electronic gear, so you know what it's about. All those are great things. By the way, I use a DYMO plug and play. You can use it in the Windows or the Mac environment, no software required. And you just hook it up, wire it up, whatever. So if I'm making a file right now for TTTT I just type it in, click, here it is, TTTT. I can then put in on a file folder, and I'm done. I know it may seem strange in turbulent times, to think about a labeler, but you never know.

May 6, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
Catch Up On Legal Stuff

This is a tip, that would be nice to have implemented before turbulent times. And certainly needed no matter when. But it's one of those old projects that often for many people lies in the background, because it's the kind of stuff you don't want to think about. Wills, what to do if we can't make decisions ourselves, healthcare. All those legal documents that manage what happens if you can't manage it. And what goes on from there. Believe me, this could be everything from Life insurance, that people don't want to think about. Luckily there are people in your life that will be glad you thought about that. If you haven't done that already.

So a two-minute tip here, come on folks. Any of those old kind of legal situations and documents, what happens when you die? Do you want to be cremated? And all those other life critical documentations that you need So that you feel comfortable about what happens, no matter what. So in these kind of times, if you have any down time, and you need to catch up on your legal documentations, and life insurance, and wills, and all that other stuff. Great stuff to do, so take advantage of that.

May 3, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
Crusty Projects

It'd be a good idea to do an inventory of any old crusty projects that have been sort of hanging around in your life and work. This would probably be a good time to tackle those, or renegotiate them. Just drop them off the list, or move them to someday / maybe. But you may have something like, clean up the basement, or rearrange a room. Or set up a whole new filing system that you wanted to do. It's a good idea to make sure that those are on your list, if they want to be on your list, and tackle them. This is a good time to do stuff like that.

Again, when things turn around and they're not so turbulent again they'll probably never get done, because you'll be busy and back in your normal life, if there is a normal life coming toward us again. Hopefully so. Anyway, that's my tip for the turbulent times. It's a real good idea, again it's one of those things that can catch up and you can feel like you're completing some stuff, you can feel like you're back on your game. It's not a bad idea to do that, especially if you have other people around in your life that are affected and care about those kinds of projects getting finished, and getting cleaned up, and getting handled.

May 3, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
Get Your Paper Based Filing System in Order

Actually, it's a tip for any time... If you don't have a really good, quick filing system that you can put stuff into and access easily. Then the stuff tends to mount up and then constipate your system. Get it clean, get it streamlined, get it current. Here's mine. My paper based system now lives three places. In a 2 drawer file cabinet, a rack of files, right on my desk, and then upstairs in an attic area, I have long term storage. My primary filing system is just a simple file drawer, alpha sorted, of things that I need, paper based. And sometimes paper based is better then PDFs, easier to see in a batch if I need to refer to something.

Anyway, there's my basic filing system, I used to have four drawers now, it's primarily in one. I have a lower drawer here that has some older documents, that I might need, you know, legal documents etc., that I might need to refer to three or four times a year maybe, but they're down there, as well as extra file folders. And then on my desk are the things that I actually throw stuff into almost on a daily basis. So, that's the filing system. It needs to be current, it needs to be clean and that makes a huge difference. You'd be surprised at how good a filing system like that can make sure that you keep your cockpit, and keep your desk and work area, nice and clean and organized.

May 3, 2020

Two-minute Tips for Turbulent Times with David Allen
The Capture Step of GTD®

If you're familiar with the Getting Things Done model and methodology is the primary step to start with, that is, to get your head empty of anything that has your attention. And in turbulent times, it's very probable that you've got a whole lot of stuff that has emerged, that has your attention.

Interestingly there's an inverse relationship between, on your mind, and getting done. So the things that have your attention mean they're probably not on cruise control. There's some decision about them you need to make and some sort of organization of the results of that, in a reminder system.

But the first step is just to get it out of your head. So if you haven't done one lately, and especially if things are changing and you've got surprises and things that you're dealing with, newly so. Then it's a real good idea to get those out of your head.

So, pen and paper, you can't beat it And I suggest, that you first of all have an in basket or in tray or something that serves that function, and actually get a stack of paper, it doesn't matter what size, but each one of those things that's on your mind, write it on a separate piece of paper, and throw it in your in basket. That could be everything from, we need pet food, we need to rethink how we're managing the kids in their school we need to, oh just anything. It could be health stuff, it could be old business that's surfaced now that you need to deal with. It could be things that need to be changed and rearranged on your schedule. It could be any number of things.

So I highly recommend you give yourself a few minutes maybe half an hour or so, and just unload. That's a first step. It doesn't handle all of those things but it does allow you to get a lot more objective about them and it makes it a lot easier to get on top of them. Once you take a look at them, step back, kind of from a higher perspective and see what all those things are, and of course, then tackling them with, what's the next action, on any of those that you're going to move on.

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.

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