I have bought and read David Allen’s book Getting things done translated to Swedish and called Få det gjort!. This is my review and thoughts about the book! Let me know if you’ve read it and what you think of it!?
As I mentioned in my book talk yesterday I bought this book out of curiosity and intended to read it as a reference only, not thinking I could use it. I didn’t discover my need until I started reading and I kind of gobbled each chapter down. There is a lot of great stuff inside this book and I totally understand why it has become so popular and loved! I think it has to do with the fact that it does not only present a functional and complete system for “everything” in your life but it has great psychological insight and explains why things will or won’t work, and helps you get started. Well, I think it will be difficult not to get started at least making a couple of lists after reading this book! I have made several lists and just writing them helps clear the view!
Personally I love cataloging things, writing lists, systematizing and organizing things! And that’s what this book is all about. Gathering your piles of stuff; your unsorted papers, to do’s, to fix, to buy, to talk about, to plan, to develope, to sketch out and to write down – and putting them in lists and systems that you check weekly and update regularly!
Some of the points Allen makes is especially interesting to me. He addresses a lot issues that only apply to the big boss or someone with a information job, but there are many many thoughts that are important to everyone who is creative! Like;
- If you like me enjoy writing a list every now and then this book gives you material for list-making in abundance! And each list will help you get clear of what you have, what you want and what you should do next! Love that!
- Allen prescribes a long term look at your life so that you focus on the right things in the now. This is something we all need to do, with our blogging, our creating, our actions today. Does it take you forward to your goals? Do you know your goals?
- He calls everything we do “work” and that really resonates with me. Not only your payed job is work, but all the things you have in your head that you need or want to do creates invisible task you need to check off weather you write it down or not! Allen names everything we do “work” weather it’s a hobby, the maintenance of a home, family, vacation, your own business or other projects in your life! That’s my take on “work” too, because I can’t separate life from work (projects).
- When you write it all down you empty your head and become stress-free! The way he describes this is “becoming like water”, a kind of list writing-meditation that I totally get!
- I listed my private creative projects in one huge list and then made the distinction between “ongoing” and what Allen calls a list of Maybe/Sometimes! The Maybe/sometimes thought is fantastic as it enables you to write your future projects down without getting stressed about them in the now. They are not for now and not even promises to yourself – they are on the maybe-list! Love that!
Our regular to do-list is now named The Next Action and it is separate from your 1-5 year achievement list, your Maybe/Sometimes-list and your Projects going on right now-list! This is maybe the most important lesson in the book, to define and understand “next action”. Yes you need to understand the difference between your Next Action and the things you want to achieve in your life! For example, if you want to make a book don’t put up “Write book” because that is too much and too big. It will never be done. Write it in steps! What a revelation that was to me to see this! I look at my own to do-list and understand now why some lines stay for so long! hehe. Don’t put “Have a clean house” or “Create interesting blog”, instead write “Put away the clothes” or “Write one post with a nice review”! ;-)
Some things in this book is defiantly not for me and some seams to be overkill for most people, like listing “things to discuss with your family”!? But one can apply the techniques that feels interesting and not do the others! That tells me these are good organizing techniques.
For me this book has opened my eyes to the fact that I had over 3000 e-mails in my inbox (dating back to 2005)! I have noticed how unproductive I am and that I need to change that. I have made a list of books that I have visible by my bed table waiting to be read; there are 22 book there right now! The list makes me want to start ticking them off right now!
As many of you know I’ve got lots of creative projects going on at once and I, like many of you, get overwhelmed with ideas, inspiration and want-to-do-right-now-thoughts. It can be paralyzing to have this many ideas all the time, so organizing is crucial! This book is applicable to all those projects
I just needed to start reading it to get inspired! You know how some books just sparkle and makes you want to take action right away? This book makes you want to jump up and go, go, go! Organize!
So far I’ve written some lists, moved all the e-mails from my inbox, got myself a green notebook to write sketch out blog posts (on the bus or train station when I can’t surf or type), removed the link to “check comments” and replaced it with a direct link to my “write blog post” admin! hehe, so far it’s working nicely. I ‘ll get back to this subject in later posts too!
Now, go check out that book!