By Elisi Studios
People waste a lot of time. How much? One study involving small business owners discovered they wasted an average of almost 22 hours every week.
You might be wasting time right now, reading this to distract yourself from whatever it is you know you should be doing. Do you struggle to make the most out of your day? A productivity system may provide the discipline you need to stay on track.
Getting Things Done, or GTD, is a technique that can boost your productivity. Never heard of it? Written almost twenty years ago, it’s still considered one of the best books on productivity.
We’ll cover the basics.
What is the GTD System?
The Getting Things Done system doesn’t try to tell you how to do your work. Instead, it focuses on how you organize and tackle your daily obligations. The idea is, without organization, you won’t know where or what to begin.
Trying to remember everything is — well, it’s a waste of time. David Allen, the creator of the system, advocates the use of a to-do list or work calendar. This way, you can concentrate on the task and avoid being overwhelmed.
The Five GTD Methods
There’s a lot to unpack from the GTD methodology. It was a self-help book after all. But when trimmed down to its five basic tenets, it’s easy to understand.
Stop relying on your head to keep everything straight. The first step of the GTD process is to capture every task at hand. And by capture, we mean to get them out of your head and written down on a piece of paper.
Your organizational system doesn’t matter. Choose what fits your fancy. The important part is to, without fail, jot down even the most trivial of tasks.
Whatever you use, make sure it’s convenient and available. The worst thing you can do is tell yourself you’ll write it down later — and then forget.
Since you’re listing tasks as soon as they come to your head, they’ll need some clarification. Perhaps you remembered you need to finish a college essay. Don’t leave it on your to-do list as complete college essay.
That doesn’t give you a good place to start. Break it into pieces, such as researchessay, construct outline, and so forth.
Now that you’ve broken your tasks into smaller parts, take some time to prioritize them. Remember to consider the deadlines of these projects, as well as your workload.
During this step, you should also categorize similar actions. Have a lot of writing to do? Clump those assignments together.
Priorities change. As more tasks spring up, you may realize an assignment was not as stressing as it was before. You should spend a few times each day skimming through your list and making changes should you find them necessary.
As well as looking for changes, you should reflect on your current tasks. If you don’t look at your list to keep yourself organized, then what’s the point of making one?
With an organized list full of simple actions, you’ll know which task to start first. Keep your priority system in mind and work through your list at your leisure. Not only does this system erase the anxiety that comes with disorganization, but it also gives you the clear guidance you need to get started.
Stay Organized With Elisi
The entire GTD system is hinged on the use of an intelligent and convenient planner. Simply put: Taking notes on your phone won’t be good enough.