Join David Allen for an in-depth discussion in this video What makes Getting Things Done different?, part of Getting Things Done.
- People are often asking "what's different "about the Getting Things Done methodology, "than other stuff, other time-management programs, "and other things out there?" And, I haven't done an exhaustive survey of all the other things out there. I'm kinda too busy getting my own things done to do a lot of that. I think one way to think about it, is Getting Things Done has people start with where they are, not with where they should be. There are a lot of great programs out there, great books and inspirational things about focusing on the bigger game, and your purpose in life, and your values, and your long-term strategies.
Those should essentially drive priorities, ultimately. But, if you try to start there, and people are out of control and down on the ground level, you're kind of spitting in the wind. Kind of hard to do. One of the things I discovered, is that once people get a sense of how to execute elegantly, seamlessly, and quickly, they automatically lift up their focus into some of the bigger game. It makes it much easier to then have a focus on the bigger game, once you can execute on it. A way to think about that, is how long does it take to change a goal? (snaps) A second! How long does it take to learn to execute on a goal? Two years, if you're really good.
So that's why GTD, in Getting Things Done, tends to focus on something that's really critical to be able to put your focus where you want it, which is execution. It really does focus on that. And I think it does that in a fairly unique way. We don't sit down and tell people that they should be thinking strategically. We just ask them what's on their mind. Invariably, when we have do a mind sweep, they sort of empty out what's on their head and they make a big list of all that stuff, very few people in the first 10 things they write down, write down fulfill destiny as human spirit on the planet.
They write down get babysitter, hire an assistant, add campaign, dog food, you know that's where people's attention is. So, we meet people where they are, and then allow them to get control of that. And once they see how to do that, they can do that for the rest of their life about anything. So that's, I think, the unique aspect is we've got that one nailed. Some people say, "well gee, "it doesn't focus so much on priorities." We're focused on priorities all the time. All the time.
The priority question is pretty simple. It's called "what's most on your mind?" So the GTD principle that says start to pay attention to what has your attention, is actually the master key to your priorities. Because, if you want to get present, which is the most optimal way to get a golf ball, or fire somebody, or have a difficult conversation, or cook dinner for friends, if you want to be in that space, which is the optimal productive space, then you've got to start to pay attention to what has your attention and then appropriately engage with it. That's what the GTD model is, and I haven't seen anything else that really nailed it quite the way we did.
NEW for 2015: In an exclusive bonus chapter, David Allen answers some of the most frequently asked questions he receives about Getting Things Done, including why GTD is different and how it can scale for larger teams and organizations.
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.