Join David Allen for an in-depth discussion in this video Who is David Allen?, part of Getting Things Done.
I'm David Allen, I got into this game in my own little consulting practice. I had 35 professions by the time I was 35. I added them up, how many things I've actually done for money. Then it's either consultant or flake are your two options. So I decided to take the consulting route I think. And, at the time, I was very interested in a couple of different things. I've always been interested in personal growth, self development kinds of things, high performance behavior. I had a background in martial arts, taught the martial arts.
Fascinated with that, self development kinds of trainings. I was kind of a self development junkie. Took a lot of those kinds of trainings. Very interested in sort of the inner worlds, meditations, other kinds of practices like that. And at a certain point, they kind of came together. My consulting work and some of the best practices that I was uncovering, in terms of, how do you be an effective human being. Some of those things actually translated very specifically to people I was working with.
You know, I was consulting with small busineess owners, and friends in my own network, had my own little boutique kind of consulting practice that I started. And I was very hungry for models, what's a model, what's a framework that I can walk in, no matter who I'm dealing with, that would create value. And essentially,create some improvement in what they wanted to be able to do? So that's when I started to explore some of these different kinds of techniques. I was never really that interested in time management, never really did a lot of research on that. I was interested for myself too.
I was feeling sort of overwhelmed and out of control. So, any technique that can help me do that would be really great. So I started to explore that, and as I started to create my own consulting practice, one of the best things to do is find consultants and see how they do that and learn from other people. I wound up having a, still a good friend and a mentor of mine, who taught me some techniques that he had uncovered in working with executives and working with organizational change, that he had found extremely useful, and very practical and very powerful, to be able to facilitate organizations to change their direction and to move forward.
And a couple of those techniques actually are still involved and embedded in getting things done as I developed that over the years. For example, getting everything out of your head, and deciding next actions. Because that often times represented energy that was just stuck in an organization and hard to get an organization to move if you had a lot of backlog, and a lot of old business, and a lot of lack of communication, lack of decision-making. So those techniques were very powerful, and Dean worked with me, and I went wow! I thought I kind of had my act together, until he spent time with me implementing a couple of these.
I went, man, that makes a huge difference. So I began to incorporate a couple of those in my consulting work and found, without fail they produced really amazing results for people. In terms of being able to be more controlled, more focused and get where they want to go a lot easier. And they were techniques that worked for anybody and everybody. I mean I am the laziest guy in the world, that's one of the reasons I'm so attracted to this work and I do it. Because I hate having to overdo things or think things through, anything that I need to.
So I'm always looking for what's the simplest way to get from here to there. I'm not a highly disciplined guy in that way, I sleep as long as I can.
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.