205-223-4415 shawn@shawnwright.net

I have been a fan of David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) for many years. While I still struggle with my “trusted system” I am pretty happy so far.

People continue to struggle with a way to handle all the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks on their plate. GTD is built on the idea that life’s commitments get more complex than our heads can effectively manage. GTD is a way to manage those commitments in a trusted system. This system could be a notebook, three-ring binder or computer program such as OmniFocus. Whatever works for you as long as you work it.

If you follow conversations on the web about productivity, and GTD in particular, you will notice push-back from time to time. People who don’t understand the system will argue that a simple to-do list is better and that GTD demands too much time. In my opinion they are all straw man arguments.

In David Allen’s most recent Productive Living email he asks “why did calendars show up and become ubiquitous tools for most people in the last few decades?” Anyone with children will tell you that life’s commitments got more complex than our heads could effectively manage.

According to David Allen, a calendar is nothing more than a list of next actions in the context of sequence in time. It is something you review on a regular basis. It is a trusted system.

Your calendar deals with things in a context of time. What about those other contexts? Some of mine include email (for email I need to write), phone (for phone calls I need to make), yard work (for projects outside my house) among others. If you are keeping everything in your head then you are doing yourselves a disservice. Think about how many important things/tasks have been forgotten. Find a trusted system for yourself and see how much more productive you can become. After all, you already trust your calendar.

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Shawn Wright
Shawn Wright is a graphic designer and podcaster living in Birmingham, Alabama. You can find his design work at shawnwright.net. You can find his podcasts, Alabama Short Stories at alabamashortstories.com and the Shades Cahaba Oral History Project podcast at shadescahabahistory.com. His designs are for sale at TeePublic.com, Redbubble.com and Society6.com.
Shawn Wright
Shawn Wright

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