3/29/2018

Thoughts on “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity”

A few years ago, Equips President, Adam York read and adopted the strategies for productivity put forth in the book: “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen. It revolutionized the way he works and added a layer of intentionality to how he spends his time. We sat down to discuss the book recently:

What made you pick up this book?

Adam:  I was looking for a better way to keep my entire life organized.  It was getting unmanageable with a young family with four kids, running a business, traveling, keeping up with professional organizations, volunteering, friends, and hobbies.  Plus, I’m always launching into something new and coming up with new ideas in all areas of my life.  I was spending too much time trying to hold everything together in my head and failing at it.  That impacted my effectiveness and people around me in negative ways.

What are some key elements from the book that you learned and use?

Adam: “Getting Things Done” provides a system to manage all tasks, personal and business, in one place. Exactly what I needed.  For someone who likes organization, but is not naturally organized, it provides an easy to follow guide for keeping everything moving forward.

Now I depend on it.  I am much more organized as a result; and more importantly, I generally have a strong sense of calm about the many things I have going on.  David Allen, the author, advocates for getting everything out of your mind and into one organizational place so that you are free to think creatively.  That has absolutely been the case for me. I have much less task anxiety and feel more in control of how I have decided to spend my time.

How has using it changed your approach to task management?

Adam:  It reminds me of Equips.  We centralize and simplify in one place.  That’s what the Getting Things Done system does for task management.  Key ingredients for success: discipline, organizational tool that you like (for me it’s Evernote), and time. Implementing the system will not happen immediately, be patient.  I have been using it for several years and it keeps adjusting a bit over time.

You can implement the system with many different tools.  I selected Evernote because I am technology oriented and it keeps everything paperless – which I value.

What are some obstacles to implementing these tools?

Adam: The biggest hurdle is getting started. The people who need this the most are very busy, so they are not inclined to put in the time to get it setup.

Take the first step, read the book. It’s well worth the effort.

This book sparked the idea for the creation of the Equips company book club.
In future articles, we’ll explore some of the key takeaways from the book club selections. Stay tuned!

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