Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Length: 962 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The book I chose to read is Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. David Allen is considered by Forbes Magazine to be in the top five executive coaches in the United States. He has over thirty years of experience in coaching some of the highest ranking executives in some of the biggest businesses in the United States. Time Magazine called this book, “the defining self-help business book of it’s time."
The book is broken down into three main parts and thirteen chapters and sub-sections. The first part is titled The Art of Getting Things Done. It contains information on societal shifts in the workplace and ways to manage work. Among his tips, he believes everyone should physically write down every task they must accomplish on a daily basis, whether they write it on paper or electronically. They must then make decisions based on length and importance and decide which tasks to accomplish and when to accomplish them. His main point of emphasis in this first chapter is that the mind becomes too cluttered and that short-term memory should be used to focus not store things. In chapter two, the author introduces his five keys or stages to controlling/managing workflow. They are (1) to collect, (2) process, (3) organize, (4) review and (5) do. He points to these five steps as a way to organizing work that needs to be accomplished and successfully completing it. The last chapter in the first section is about vertically focusing on the thought process to complete projects. Allen outlines five more steps to accomplish any task. They are (1) defining purpose and principles, (2) outcome visioning, (3) brainstorming, (4) organizing, and (5) Identifying next actions.
The second part of this book, which is well over ½ of the entire book, is somewhat of a repeat of the first part but a much more detailed perspective of the methodology of David Allen. He recommends taking two days at the start of his process just to get organized. Within these two days, one should set up private workspace not only at work but at home also. In chapter five and six, Allen refers back to his five keys to control workflow, he points out to accomplish the collecting phase completely before moving onto the processing and organizing stages. This will eliminate distractions. During the processing phase, a person is not really completing any items but rather identifying what needs to be done with each one.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Jan 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=222162>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Multitasking Kills Productivity

- We live in a world where much is demanded of us than ever before and as result we turn to productivity to experts to help us cram as much as we can into our daily lives. In consideration of the pace we run our lives at, we turn to multitasking to become more efficient in a shorter amount of time. Multitasking is often considered the holy grail of productivity; it is said to allow multiple task executed simultaneously, thus allowing for greater efficiency is a shorter amount of time. One of the greatest pitfalls associated with multitasking is overestimating your ability to get a certain number of tasks completed in an allocated amount of time....   [tags: geting things done, focusing]

Free Essays
584 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on Art: Nutrition for the Mind

- The wonders of the mind never cease. The mind is like a thumb print; there isn’t a single pair of minds alike in the world. That is what makes the world such an amazing and unique place to live in; so many different perspectives combining into one idea. Yet, that one idea can have so many different meanings to each and every person. Different experiences shape the way the mind works and how it analyzes situations and objects. For people to get the most out of their mind, they have to challenge it, give it something new to analyze....   [tags: Art Classes, Stress Relief]

Research Papers
1425 words (4.1 pages)

Motivation Is The Art Of Getting People Essay

- Once stated by Dwight D. Eisenhower, “Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.” The aforementioned ideology places an emphasis on an individual’s internal desires, rather than an outside/external force driving the individual’s consciousness (cognitive evaluation.) Therefore intrinsic motivation is one in which an individual 's own desire comes from within; a relentless and genuine passion for an intended goal. On the contrary, when an individual relies on external factors such as, a reward or any other form of external reinforcement, an extrinsic motivation is exhibited....   [tags: Motivation, Reinforcement, F. Scott Fitzgerald]

Research Papers
1821 words (5.2 pages)

Motivation Is The Art Of Getting People Essay

- Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.” Studies have found that high employee motivation goes hand in hand with strong organizational performance and profits. Therefore, managers are given the responsibility of finding the right combination of motivational techniques and rewards to satisfy employees’ needs and encourage great work performance. This becomes a bit more challenging as employees’ needs change from one generation to another....   [tags: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Motivation]

Research Papers
915 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Stress : Inevitable But Manageable

- Stress: Inevitable but Manageable One of the common statements mentioned by college students like me is “I’m stressed out,” especially mid-semester when there are tons of essays to write, and pile of assignments to do. Stress has always existed as the philosophers Epicurus and Epicetus developed philosophies on how to handle stress, though not explicitly. Stress is a daily phenomenon that is inevitable but can be managed and avoided by developing stress reducing habits, engaging in social activities and developing perspective on stressors; it can be detected by bodily reactions, change in emotion and attitude and is important for young people to understand because it is inescapable, has long...   [tags: Management, Psychology, Stress]

Research Papers
864 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Stress and Nursing

- We spend much of daily lives working. In fact, Americans spend about eight-times as many hours working as they do eating and drinking (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013). Approximately seven in ten Americans report that they experience symptoms of stress (Anderson, Belar, Breckler, Nordal, Ballard, Bufka, Bossolo & Bethune, 2013). Stress is elicited by a variety of psychological stimulus associated with our jobs, our residences, our social interactions, and the activities we engage in (p. 249, Franken, 2007)....   [tags: productivity, illnesses, empowerment ]

Research Papers
1776 words (5.1 pages)

Stress, Stressors and Stress Responses Essay

- I. What Is Stress. Stress is the combination of psychological, physiological, and behavioral reactions that people have in response to events that threaten or challenge them. Stress can be good or bad. Sometimes, stress is helpful, providing people with the extra energy or alertness they need. Stress could give a runner the edge he or she needs to persevere in a marathon, for example. This good kind of stress is called eustress. Unfortunately, stress is often not helpful and can even be harmful when not managed effectively....   [tags: Essays on Stress]

Research Papers
3964 words (11.3 pages)

Self Assessment of Stress Essay

- Chapter 2 Self-Assessment and Observation 1. Stress Management Assessment: Eliminating stressors (23) Developing resiliency (23) Short-term coping (9). A total score of 55 places me in the top quartile. The lowest area for me is in the skill area of short-term coping. 2. Time Management Assessment: Most frequent responses were level 4 with level 3 being second most common. In section 1 of the instrument, I scored 136 which places me in the top quartile and implies I am a better time manager in my personal life....   [tags: Stress Management]

Free Essays
1149 words (3.3 pages)

Essay about Workplace Stress

- Three out of every four American workers describe their work as stressful. According to the Holmes-Rahe Life Events Scale, which rates levels of stress, many of the most stressful events in life are related to the workplace. Some examples are firings, business readjustments and changes in financial status, altered responsibilities, a switch to a different line of work, trouble with the boss, changes in work hours or conditions, retirement and vacations. Workplace stress costs American employers an estimated $200 billion per year in lower productivity, absenteeism, staff turnover, workers' compensation, medical insurance and other stress-related expenses....   [tags: Job Stress]

Research Papers
1873 words (5.4 pages)

Occupational Stress Essay

- Job stress has proven to be a difficult issue to tackle. Unlike physical or chemical hazards, there is not an obvious tangible hazardous agent. This issue has also been preempted by corporate stress management, health promotion, or employee assistance programs, which explain stress as a purely personal reaction, and often treat the symptoms, not the causes, of job stress. The occupational stress field also has been plagued by a variety of definitions and difficulties in measurement of stress.(Buunk,De-Jong,Y-Bemas&De wolff,1998) In addition, changes in job design or work organization are often inherently more "systems challenging" and require more radical restructuring of workplaces than red...   [tags: Work Related Stress, Job Stress]

Research Papers
2598 words (7.4 pages)

Allen points out that this will get rid of unneeded tasks and he also recommends completing any less than two minute tasks right away. In his next chapter, the author focuses on the organizing portion of his five keys. Among his recommendations, he points out seven categories to make for all outputs. They are: a "Projects" list, project support material, calendared actions and information, "Next Actions" lists, a "Waiting For" list, reference material, and a "Someday/Maybe" list.
In his next chapter, Allen goes over the review portion of his five keys. His main point of focus in this section is to trust the system. He also points to always review daily tasks and to make sure to review weekly tasks/accomplishments at the end of every week. In his ninth chapter, the author focuses on the “doing” stage. He introduces three models that he uses when deciding what “to do”. First off the Four-Criteria model for choosing actions in the moment uses the criteria of context, time available, energy available, and priority to make decisions. Next, the Threefold Model for Evaluating Daily Work uses three categories and they are doing predefined work, doing work as it shows up, or defining one’s work. Lastly, he uses an altitude reference in his Six-Level Model for Reviewing Your Own Work model. He breaks down work into each of these categories; 50,000 + feet: Life, 40,000 feet: Three- to five-year visions, 30,000 feet: One-to two-year goals, 20,000 feet: Areas of responsibility, 10,000 feet: Current projects, Runway: Current actions. In wrapping up his next chapter and second part of his book, David Allen refers back to his vertical process for completing projects and points out that he prefers pro-active, creative thinking as opposed to formal training tools.
In the third and final part of his book, David Allen explains to the reader why his methods work and some benefits that could be attained from following them. He delves into the psychological aspects of human nature that lead to his methods being successful. He also tells stories of success that he has witnessed through previous clients of his in the business arena. In the opening of his last part he writes that people should focus more on, “think[ing] about things, rather than of things.” Allen also writes about the power of The Next-Action Decision model. He believes that at any meeting, approximately twenty minutes before its completion, someone should ask the question, “So what’s the next action here?" He writes that this will help collaboration, clear up any misunderstandings that employees may have, and put everyone on the same page in terms of what needs to be accomplished. In his final thoughts, Allen writes about the importance of always envisioning successes, even when the ways of attaining aren’t always clear at the time. Also, the ability to continually generate new ideas whether they are good or bad is an extremely important tool that executives must be able to harness to fully capture creative intelligence. Lastly, David Allen writes that, “Choosing and taking next actions are the essence of productivity.”
Although the book is aimed at CEO’s and other high-ranking business officials, it seems like this book has the chance to be extremely helpful, especially for any business person who find themselves overwhelmed and unable to organize their workload.

Return to 123HelpMe.com