Join David Allen for an in-depth discussion in this video Engaging the tasks, part of Getting Things Done.
All of these previous four steps lead us to the fifth and final which is to engage. And getting things done in a strange way is not so much about getting things done. It's about being appropriately engaged. You and I right now are not doing a lot of things, because I'm doing this and you're watching this. The ability for us to be present here in what we're doing, is to a large degree based upon how appropriately are we engaged with all the the rest of our stuff. So that's why the best practice here is to have done the first four best practices.
I've captured everything. I've clarified everything, in terms of what it means. Actions and outcomes. I've parked those in an appropriate place, and I've stepped back and looked at that. Now when I make a choice, the choice is an intuitive trusted one. As opposed to an angst-ridden hope. Most people are making choices out of the latest and loudest thing, and they're hoping that it's right. The best practice here is to have done the first four best practices so that you can really trust your judgement call about what you do and what you don't do at any point in time.
Engage does not necessarily mean go work harder, faster, longer. It might, for some things, to be appropriately engaged with some major project and you've got a hard deadline on it and people are counting on you, sure. You might need to look like I need to work harder hours and break a sweat on that. Sometimes engage means, I'm going to step back and not do anything. I need to reflect. I need to meditate. I need to take care of my relationships, spend time with my kids, I need to take a nap. Believe it or not, taking a nap is as much engaging as anything else.
It's just, what am I do at this point in time. Where do I put my focus and where do I put my intention. So, the best practice on all of this is to have worked this whole system, this holistic system of getting things done where I'm capturing, clarifying, organizing, stepping back and review and reflecting. And keeping that current, so that then I'm not making a judgement out of hope, this is the right thing. I'm making a judgement. I've looked at all the options, then I say this. Now, I may make a mistake. This doesn't get rid of challenges and problems and opportunities, and it doesn't necessarily make you smarter.
What it does is it frees up your psyche to then being able to trust your intuitive judgments about what you decide to do. But it's hard for people to set priorities or to make priority decisions if they still have a lot of stuff going on in their head. So this whole process again is about being able to objectify and externalize all of your commitments at all the multiple levels you have them. So that you could step back, see the whole game, and then make good trusted choices.
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 1/02/2015. What changed?
A: We added 45 minutes of new content in the Bonus Interview chapter. Learn why Getting Things Done is different from other productivity improvement methods, and how it can work for you, your family, and your team.