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87 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too many things to Do? This book will enable you to cope.
Do you ever feel stressed because you have so many different things you need/want to do? Do you forget appointments or waste time looking in piles of paper for that one important note that you made? If you like me are disorganized and never seem on top of things this is the book for you. I love reading self improvement books. In fact I get a lot of stick from my husband...
Published on 25 Feb 2007 by Mrs. S. J. Brown

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful Kindle version
It is totally unacceptable of Amazon to palm us off with a sub standard version of this book. The author should have checked it and the editor must have been asleep. I almost wanted to ask for my money back. The typesetting is amateur and the typos are dreadful. You have been warned.
Published on 11 Aug 2012 by A. Peel


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87 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too many things to Do? This book will enable you to cope., 25 Feb 2007
By 
Mrs. S. J. Brown (Abingdon, Oxfordshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Do you ever feel stressed because you have so many different things you need/want to do? Do you forget appointments or waste time looking in piles of paper for that one important note that you made? If you like me are disorganized and never seem on top of things this is the book for you. I love reading self improvement books. In fact I get a lot of stick from my husband about my reading habits along the lines of 'Why don't you stop reading books about improving your life and start living.' 'Getting Things Done' is the first such book to get me into action mode and start working on all those projects I've put off for so long. No longer do I feel my life is out of control; no longer do I feel overwhelmed by all the 'stuff' I've taken on board.

If you want to get organized but don't know where to start Dave Allen's book will give you the tools to 'Get Things Done.' The book recommends a set of principles, habits and a filing system which encompasses everything that you want to do from the mundane 'I must get new tyres for the car' to the important major project at work. If you have a hectic lifestyle this system will remind you that your library books need renewing or that the car is due for its MOT as well as that you need to write the first draft of a report for work or you want to email a friend to ask if they would like to go to a concert. You can concentrate on making that phone call or writing that report without worrying about all those other things that you need/want to get done. His system even finds room for long term 'dreams' which are not possible at the moment such as learning a second language, writing a book or travelling to China.

So when I'm not at my desk making phone calls, writing letters, or reading emails I can relax knowing that everything is in my filing sytem, calendar or in-tray. If I need to go into town to pick up some milk a quick check in the appropriate file will remind me I've also got some dry cleaning to pick up or whatever else needs doing in town. Setting up the system takes time and effort but it works. Dave Allen recommends clearing two whole days to clear an office and your mind of clutter and put it into a system which reviewed regularly. I didn't have two full clear days and did it over a couple of weeks but my home office has stayed tidy, organised and fully functional since and other areas of my home/life are being transformed.

This is a practical book with lots of useful ideas for increasing productivity in all areas of life and reducing stress but if you are prepared to implement the whole system it can be life changing.
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97 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flow from Angst to Action . . . and Relax!, 14 May 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This book is for all those who are overwhelmed with too many things to do, too little time to do them, and a general sense of unease that something important is being missed.
Everyone has experienced times when everything seemed effortless, and progress limitless. David Allen has captured ways for you to achieve that wonderful state of mind and consciousness more often.
His key concept is that every task, promise, or assignment has a place and a time. With everything in its proper place and time, you feel in control and replace the time spent on vague worrying with effective, timely action. As a result, the accomplishments grow while the pressure to accomplish decreases. As a result, the book contains many insights into "how to have more energy, be more relaxed, and get a lot more accomplished with much less effort."
The key psychological insight of this book is that rapid progress occurs when you take large, unformed tasks, and break them down and organize them into smaller, sequential steps for exactly what to do and when. The book provides lots of guidance and examples for how to do this.
The book is organized into three sections. The first gives you an overview of the whole process for how to get more done in a relaxed way. The second spells out the details of how to implement that process, in a way that a personal coach might use. The third provides subtle insights that help you appreciate the benefits that follow from using the process. Like all good coaches, Mr. Allen understands that appreciating a subject from several perspectives and getting lots of practice with it are critical steps in learning.
The process advocated by this book is described with lots of systems flow charts that will appeal to all of the engineers and left-brained people. The right-brained people will find lots of discussions about emotions, feelings, and stress. So both types of thinkers should do well with this material.
The essence of the process is that you write down a note about everything when you take on a new responsibility, make a new commitment, or have a useful thought. All of this ends up in some kind of "in" box. You then go through your "in" box and decide what needs to be done next for each item. For simple issues, this includes identifying the action you should take first and when to take it. For tougher issues, you schedule an appropriate time to work the problem in more detail. You organize the results of this thinking, and review your options for what you should be doing weekly. Then you take what you choose to do, and act. Think of this process as the following five steps: (1) collect (2) process (3) organize (4) decide (5) act.
For the tougher problems, you start with identifying your purpose and principles so you know why you care how it all turns out. Then you imagine the potential good outcomes that you would like. Following that, you brainstorm with others the best way to get those outcomes. Then you organize the best pathway. Finally, you identify the first actions you need to take. Then you act, as in step 5 above.
From this outline, I hope that you can see that this is not rocket science. It is simple common sense, but with discipline. The critical part is the discipline because that is what focuses your attention where it will do the most good. For example, rather than sitting on something you have no idea how to get started, you can decide right away to get ideas from others on what the purpose and principles are that should be used in selecting a solution. So, you are in motion, and you have saved much time and anxiety.
What I learned from this book is that many people allow a lot of time to pass without taking any useful steps because they cannot imagine what to do next. This process should usually overcome that problem by showing you what to work on, providing methods to accomplish that step in the process, and guiding you to places where you can get appropriate help. As a result, this book should help overcome the bureaucracy and communications stalls that bedevil most organizations.
This fits from my own experience in helping people solve problems. If you simplify the questions and make them into familiar ones, everyone soon finds powerful alternatives drawn from a lifetime of experiences and memories. Keep things broad, abstract, and vague, and peoples' eyes glaze over while they struggle for a place to begin.
After you have finished reading and applying this book, I suggest that you share your new learning with those you see around you who are the most stressed out. By helping them gain relaxed control of their activities, you will also be able to enjoy the benefits of their increased effectiveness in supporting your own efforts.
May you always get the tools you need, understand what to do next, and move swiftly through timely actions!
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201 of 212 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable, 14 May 2005
By A Customer
This is a life-changing book. I was drowning in paper, felt constantly anxious about things I wasn't getting done, was missing deadlines, finding it hard to keep on top of my various commitments and projects. I thought I was just a disorganized person; this book has changed everything for me. I now have a clear idea of my commitments, an easy-access and reliable filing system, a simple way of capturing all my necessary actions, an empty inbox, and freer weekends. I should add that I have always been very cynical about these kinds of books and in fact I still am: I have looked at several other books on 'personal organization' and find them (a) ludicrous, pumped-up, pop-psychology books full of jargon and power phrases but signifying nothing, or (b) obsessed with making you a more productive little unit at work. This book is about making you a happier person - and makes it clear that the result of his simple techniques might be that you actually do less, by realising how your schedule works and refusing to take too much on. I can't recommend it enough.
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75 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic way of getting organized, 18 Feb 2007
First off, I'll start by saying: "Don't hesitate, JUST BUY IT!!"

This is one of the best investments you'll ever make. I've read "Getting Things Done", got hooked, then proceeded to read D.Allen's other book "Ready for Anything" as well as source and listen to the CDs "Getting Things Done fast". I can honestly say that this book and the whole "GTD" way of thinking has changed my life.

Before this book, I was a procrastinator who was almost always late for deadlines and often unreliable with commitments. I read a variety of books on time-management, productivity and procrastination-motivation, but none as influential as this.

I have been using GTD for about 2yrs now, I am highly organized, productive, with all my commitments outlined in an organized and trusted system - nothing slips through the cracks any more. I've set everything up in Outlook, have my categories such as @home, @computer, @out etc and just keep ticking away Next Actions and completing projects. I synchronize everything with my smartphone (HTC S620) and have the whole system (calendar, tasks, contacts, notes) portable with me wherever I go. My inbox remains empty and all my emails are correctly processed. Finally, I've introduced the habit of the Weekly Review and now look forward to blocking the outside world, once a week, to take stock and reorganize myself and prepare for the week ahead.

Since I got this book, besides being productive and organized, I find myself meeting all deadlines and feeling much less stressed.

Like I said, JUST DO IT and buy the book! What you'll get is one of the best and most practical books on personal productivity!!!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful Kindle version, 11 Aug 2012
By 
A. Peel "Andrew Peel" (Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Getting Things Done: How to achieve stress-free productivity (Kindle Edition)
It is totally unacceptable of Amazon to palm us off with a sub standard version of this book. The author should have checked it and the editor must have been asleep. I almost wanted to ask for my money back. The typesetting is amateur and the typos are dreadful. You have been warned.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas, shame about the delivery, 17 April 2012
By 
Fiona Mullen - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The shame about this book is that there is probably a workable system in there, if only you could wade through the far too many pages to find it.
He spends hours of your precious reading time "setting up the sell", telling you how wonderful you will feel once you have read it, all of which is pretty unnecessary since you have already bought the book (I still went ahead and bought it after reading a Kindle sample, hoping that he would soon get to the point...)
He does eventually get to the point (I think I skipped to 38% of the way in from what I remember before I found some practical tips) but he doesn't summarise what he has told you at the end of each chapter nor at the end of the book, so you are left with a hazy feeling that you might improve your life if you create lots of lists but you can't quite remember what all the lists are for and why it is important to separate them.
Net result: I feel I have to read the so**ing thing again just to implement his system. Better put that on my, err, in list? action list? tickler list? read/review list? Please give us a list of our lists!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big opportunity missed because the book is badly written, 12 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This books puts forward David Allen's 'Get Things Done' (GTD) framework for managing all your 'to dos' based on the context of the task and the time. As a concept/model, GTD has a lot of potential, particularly if you're managing multiple projects and have a busy personal schedule too. But...

1. Allen needs to update the book to contend with how you organise your to do lists and time if you use phones/iPads/computers to manage your diaries. The GTD model in the book pushes (or rather rams down your throat) an archaic paper-based system. He even advocates carrying this paper based system in your "satchel".

2. He complicates what should be a very simple system by proposing list after list for almost every task (and then having sub lists within those lists) - and then how to set up and manage those lists. Consequently, the book is more of a mechanical read than a pleasure. Those 'aha' moments are few and far between because they're buried in dry and long-winded prose. If this was any other type of book, I'd have binned it after the first 40 pages. He admits much of the book is common sense, but leaves the execution of when to do what to the reader's 'intuition'.

3. There are no summaries or checklists at the end of chapters - given how long-winded the book is, a simple one-pager asking the reader 'Have you done the following" at the end of each chapter would have been nice. Instead, you're forced to go back and re-read swathes of text just to get to the couple of lines of explanation that have any resonance.

4. The book would have been better off as a whiteboard/overview book, which could have been a fraction of the size. I really don't need to be told how my life will change after implementing GTD - what I want is a simple explanation of how to implement it and something short enough that I can easily refer back to. Then I'd have given it 5 stars.

Overall, a poor read. If you're keen on exploring GTD, then YouTube and Google are your friends here. Plenty of people have explained Allen's methodology better than he has. There's a a good YouTube video that explains it all in about 7 minutes [...]
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Main ideas in the book, 4 Dec 2004
By 
Mr. M. Rolf (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book contains some great ideas, even if it is not greatly written. The book is pragmatic, giving ideas you can use every day - even if some of them do take a bit of practice before they become habit. The main ideas the book covers are
1) Collection Habit - how to collect all your "to do's" and why it makes such a difference if you collect all of them and not just most of them
2) Next Action - the idea of always deciding on the next action to take on a piece of work, the moment it comes into your life.
3) Outcome Focusing - this covers a very practical and productive method for envisioning and planning all the projects in your life, so you can start to make them happen before you start stressing about them.
The book also gives a few interesting insights into why you may feel stressed and what to do about it.
Highly recommended.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best investments you'll ever make, 20 Sep 2003
Whether you have a problem with being overloaded, clutter, forgetfulness, being unable to say no to requests, or simply not knowing where to find invoices etc when you need them, this book is for you. You must be prepared however to set aside at least 1 to 4 days to set up your system but once it is rolling you feel so mentally free and in control. I have a few books on time management but this is definitely the best...
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flow from Angst to Action . . . and Relax!, 3 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This book is for all those who are overwhelmed with too many things to do, too little time to do them, and a general sense of unease that something important is being missed.
Everyone has experienced times when everything seemed effortless, and progress limitless. David Allen has captured ways for you to achieve that wonderful state of mind and consciousness more often.
His key concept is that every task, promise, or assignment has a place and a time. With everything in its proper place and time, you feel in control and replace the time spent on vague worrying with effective, timely action. As a result, the accomplishments grow while the pressure to accomplish decreases. As a result, the book contains many insights into "how to have more energy, be more relaxed, and get a lot more accomplished with much less effort."
The key psychological insight of this book is that rapid progress occurs when you take large, unformed tasks, and break them down and organize them into smaller, sequential steps for exactly what to do and when. The book provides lots of guidance and examples for how to do this.
The book is organized into three sections. The first gives you an overview of the whole process for how to get more done in a relaxed way. The second spells out the details of how to implement that process, in a way that a personal coach might use. The third provides subtle insights that help you appreciate the benefits that follow from using the process. Like all good coaches, Mr. Allen understands that appreciating a subject from several perspectives and getting lots of practice with it are critical steps in learning.
The process advocated by this book is described with lots of systems flow charts that will appeal to all of the engineers and left-brained people. The right-brained people will find lots of discussions about emotions, feelings, and stress. So both types of thinkers should do well with this material.
The essence of the process is that you write down a note about everything when you take on a new responsibility, make a new commitment, or have a useful thought. All of this ends up in some kind of "in" box. You then go through your "in" box and decide what needs to be done next for each item. For simple issues, this includes identifying the action you should take first and when to take it. For tougher issues, you schedule an appropriate time to work the problem in more detail. You organize the results of this thinking, and review your options for what you should be doing weekly. Then you take what you choose to do, and act. Think of this process as the following five steps: (1) collect (2) process (3) organize (4) decide (5) act.
For the tougher problems, you start with identifying your purpose and principles so you know why you care how it all turns out. Then you imagine the potential good outcomes that you would like. Following that, you brainstorm with others the best way to get those outcomes. Then you organize the best pathway. Finally, you identify the first actions you need to take. Then you act, as in step 5 above.
From this outline, I hope that you can see that this is not rocket science. It is simple common sense, but with discipline. The critical part is the discipline because that is what focuses your attention where it will do the most good. For example, rather than sitting on something you have no idea how to get started, you can decide right away to get ideas from others on what the purpose and principles are that should be used in selecting a solution. So, you are in motion, and you have saved much time and anxiety.
What I learned from this book is that many people allow a lot of time to pass without taking any useful steps because they cannot imagine what to do next. This process should usually overcome that problem by showing you what to work on, providing methods to accomplish that step in the process, and guiding you to places where you can get appropriate help. As a result, this book should help overcome the bureaucracy and communications stalls that bedevil most organizations.
This fits from my own experience in helping people solve problems. If you simplify the questions and make them into familiar ones, everyone soon finds powerful alternatives drawn from a lifetime of experiences and memories. Keep things broad, abstract, and vague, and peoples' eyes glaze over while they struggle for a place to begin.
After you have finished reading and applying this book, I suggest that you share your new learning with those you see around you who are the most stressed out. By helping them gain relaxed control of their activities, you will also be able to enjoy the benefits of their increased effectiveness in supporting your own efforts.
May you always get the tools you need, understand what to do next, and move swiftly through timely actions!
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