Bad time management is like anything else: first and foremost, you must admit that you have an issue. Most of us think that we are doing great and we don’t need anyone to tell us how to manage our time. Ok, maybe it is true, but please imagine for a moment that there is a parallel world where all your tasks can be performed more efficiently and that you are willing to take advice from productivity experts.
Then you will start searching around, dealing with business analysis methods, process automation, team work tools, workflow patterns… Don’t worry. In Kiply we have selected some of the best methods so you won’t get lost in that vast sea of ‘time management’.
And if there’s one method that stands out the most that is, undoubtedly, GTD. It stands for ‘Getting Things Done’, and its aim couldn’t be more crystal clear.
The man behind this time management method
The creator of such successful methodology is David Allen, one of the best regarded productivity experts in the world. The David Allen Company is a leading business in productivity, action management and executive coaching. And it’s no wonder why as he’s been devoted to such activities since the 1980s.
As he once said, ‘Your mind is made to have ideas, not to hold them’. That is why GTD is based on the principle that people need to free their minds from their to-do lists. And how can we do that? By writing down all our to-dos in a specific place, so that we won’t have to remember them and we’ll stay focused on the tasks themselves.
5 steps to success
First of all, you have to know what this method is about. Apart from giving us the basic guidelines on his website, David Allen tells it all in his book Getting Things Done. The art of stress-free productivity. In it, he proposes taking five easy steps that will help us have more free time for ourselves.
1) Capture (Collect what has your attention). Make a short outline with all your pending tasks and write them down together in a specific place that you will review every week. You can use an in-basket, notepad, or voice recorder to capture everything that has your attention. The aim is to free your mind from all the stress that comes with always being alert and trying not to forget anything.
2) Clarify (Process what it means). Evaluate your tasks and make the right decisions. If a task can be accomplished in less than two minutes, do it now. If not, delegate it if you can; or put it on a list to do when you can. Anyway, don’t do more than one task at a time.
3) Organize (Put it where it belongs). Prioritize your tasks accordingly to their importance and divide them into appropriate categories such as calls to make, errands to run, emails to send, etc. Then put action reminders on the right lists.
4) Reflect (Review Frequently). Look over your lists at least once a day and as often as necessary to determine what to do next. Apart from that, do a weekly review to clean up, update your lists and clear your mind.
5) Engage (simply do). Once it’s clear what task you are going to perform, just take action with confidence.
Because that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Being able to perform your tasks and to delete them from your to-dos list. As Mr. Allen says, take these five simple steps to order the chaos’
If you want to give this method a chance, we’ve got great news for you: it is so highly developed that on their official site you’ll find a wide range of materials and tools to help you implement it. They offer apps, podcasts, mindmaps, courses (both on-site and on-line sessions), coaching services, etc.