I haven’t gotten the book (yet) but I’ve been reading about Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen on the net. One little tip I picked up echoes this review of GTD “Fitter, happier, more productive” on Guardian Unlimited:
In Allen’s world, “stuff” is things in your environment – or in your head – that requires resolution. That resolution may be filing it, trashing it or acting upon it.
All must be corralled in one place and then processed using Allen’s core mantra of “Do it, delegate it, defer it”. If the action takes less than two minutes, do it there and then.
I’ve found this guiding idea to be a tremendous help. For example, my inbox used to pile up with loads of emails I always put off to replying till later, but now it’s down to nearly empty (last count was 4). If it’s something I can respond to immediately under two minutes, I do it now and then archive it away.
Task done, out of sight, out of mind, until the next actionable step comes in.
It’s been a useful principle not just for increasing my productivity but for freeing up my mind’s resources. The fewer tasks I know I have to catch up on the less I worry.
Sounds interesting? Flex it around. See what works for you and doesn’t. Test it out!
P.S. Do you test out ideas you think might be useful or just read them and forget? If the first, I’d love to hear stories of your own experiences, leave a comment or drop me an email! If the latter, what is a task you need to do that you can do right now under two minutes? You know what to do!