I’m sure like me, having just got back from holiday you are inundated with things to do, both personal and work related (assuming that we even have that distinction these days!). Well along with the standard new year’s resolutions such as joining the gym you could also sit down and work out a productivity system that helps you get things done.
“Getting Things Done” by David Allen is apparently a “Action Management Method”, for real people this means a way of getting tasks done on time without forgetting anything. Information on this method can be found on his website or in wikipedia. The main theory behind the methodology is to record everything, from picking up milk to closing a sales deal or perhaps repainting the kitchen one day. If you do this then your mind can focus on the task at hand and not worry about remembering what you need to do. Of course there is a particular way to record this information and this can be found in the previously mentioned links.
Using the principles set out in GTD you can use anything from a paper system to a fully electronic one, Outlook comes to mind of an application that most businesses have. However over the past couple of years a host of specific GTD applications have started to emerge, being a mac user I am an avid fan of Things which is one of the best thought out applications I have used in a very long time. Of course there are plenty of applications for Windows and Linux as well.
I have to admit I don’t find myself following all the guidelines set out in the book but I have found the the ideas were very good in helping me develop my own system. I would definitely recommend adding “read GTD” to your list of new year’s resolutions, but unlike the others actually do this one!