Life Changers: David Allen – Stress Free Productivity
This Edition of Life Changers is adapted from an interview that I was honored to co-host with my good friend Jared Easley – you can check out his podcast Starve The Doubts – HERE.
We had an amazing conversation with Productivity Master David Allen.
Life Changers is a feature on my blog where I ask individuals to answer the question: “What one idea or habit has changed your life?” Author, Consultant, Speaker, and the world’s leading authority on personal and organizational productivity David Allen presents today’s life changing story.
David Allen is an author, consultant, international lecturer, founder and chairman of the David Allen Company. He is widely recognized as the world’s leading authority on personal and organizational productivity, and is the international best-selling author of Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity; Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life; and Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and the Business of Life. His thirty years of pioneering research, coaching and education of some of the world’s highest-performing professionals, corporations and institutions, has earned him Forbes’ recognition as one of the top five executive coaches in the United States. He was also named one of the “Top 100 thought leaders” by Leadership Magazine.
I’d have to give credit to a great mentor of mine Dean Acheson, I acknowledge him in my book.
He was the guy that taught me about emptying my head and deciding next actions.
That was profound.
Empty Your Mind
[A cornerstone of the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology involves literally sitting down and emptying your mind of everything – capturing all that is on your mind and writing it down, transferring it to a trusted system where your mind no longer needs to store the idea. David points out that “Your mind is for having ideas, not storing them.” The way to free up your ability to think and be creative, is to unload that which you have been carrying around. Think about all the books you want to read, or movies you want to see, but you have never actually committed to a list, you just walk around with them in your mind. This takes up your mental bandwidth, and can make it really difficult to focus on one particular idea or thought. ]
Deciding Next Actions
[“The next action needs to be the next physical, visible behavior, without exception, on every open loop… So where do all your action reminders go? On “Next Actions” lists, which, along with the calendar, are at the heart of daily action-management organization.”]
I thought I had my act together.
And then he shared those ideas with me.
He actually uncovered those concepts because of his work in creating organizational change. Those components are just come critical elements to be able to clear the deck, so that an organization was not holding itself back because of old business and open loops, and lack of ability of people to really execute on things coming into their in-basket.
But it turned out that those were phenomenal.
And so just becoming aware of those ideas, and watching how that affected my energy, and clarity, and focus [was life changing].
Then starting to test those out – that became a lot of the core of Getting Things Done, and certainly changed my life professionally.
Check out David’s Ted Talk below for more insight into transforming your own ability to Get Things Done!
Do you have any experience applying the GTD methodology to your own workflow? I’d love to hear about it – please leave a comment below.
If you are new to this approach, I cannot recommend David’s Book Getting Things Done enough – you can pick up a copy here: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
You can also check out his official web page for very large selection of information and tools that you can start using right away!