There have been various reviews on David Allen's book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
, but I've created a simple Mind Map of my view of the principles based on the concept of Tony Buzan's Basic Ordering Ideas, which distils a subject into its core principles.
This method complements Mind Map Time Management nicely and can be used to ensure that you are always focused on the correct task.
His book is a comprehensive guide on increasing personal productivity, but the main principle is to get things out of your head and into a system. You can download the Mind Map and use it as an interactive Mind Map Tutor to help you get things done by adding your own information onto the Mind Map. I've even played around with the branches and made some of them sub-branches. The important principle is to use it and adapt it for your own use.
There are five basic principles in getting things done:
Anything that requires a number of actions to complete can be put into the project branch. Projects can fit into your bigger goals. You could use our SMART Goal principles and develop goals that actually work.
All the tasks needed to complete a project are listed under the project. If you have a Mind Map for each project, you can easily list the tasks for the Project.
No matter how many tasks are required to complete a project, there is always something that must be done next. This comes under the 'Next Actions' branch.
All you have to focus on is the 'Next Actions'. Once that is done, delete it from the list and add the next one, or use our colour coding system, as in our Mind Map 'To Do' lists.
You could also use symbols, like a star, to highlight the next task to be done.
Having your work divided into contexts can help you focus on the right tasks at the right time. For example, your business tasks can be separated from tasks at home. This can ensure that you are always focused on the right tasks at the right time.
You could keep Mind Map calendar to give you a holistic overview, a simple diary system, or an online calendar to keep track of appointments and commitments.
A calendar, according to Allen, is mainly used for the 'hard landsape', viz. tasks that have to be completed by a certain date, where a focus on deadlines is important.
Other than that, you just focus on 'Next Actions'.
I've been using software called GTDAgenda to help me manage my tasks and get things done.
You can try it now for free.
David Allen's philosophy is built right into the application. I find that the daily prompting by the system of your next task a real help in staying focused.
By combining this with Mind Maps, I get the best of both worlds and remain as productive as possible, as the most difficult thing in the world for me to do is to stay focused on one task at a time. This software ensures that you focus on a task - and complete it!