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Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity by [Allen, David]
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Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 109 customer reviews

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Length: 352 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Amazon.co.uk Review

With first-chapter allusions to martial arts, "flow", "mind like water", and other concepts borrowed from the East (and usually mangled), you'd almost think this self-helper from David Allen should have been called Zen and the Art of Schedule Maintenance.

Not quite. Yes, Getting Things Done offers a complete system for downloading all those free-floating gotta-dos clogging your brain into a sophisticated framework of files and action lists--all purportedly to free your mind to focus on whatever you're working on. However, it still operates from the decidedly Western notion that if we could just get really, really organised, we could turn ourselves into 24/7 productivity machines. (To wit, Allen, whom the New Economy bible Fast Company has dubbed "the personal productivity guru", suggests that instead of meditating on crouching tigers and hidden dragons while you wait for a plane, you should unsheathe that high-tech sabre known as the mobile phone and attack that list of calls you need to return.)

As whole-life-organising systems go, Allen's is pretty good, even fun and therapeutic. It starts with the exhortation to take every unaccounted-for scrap of paper in your workstation that you can't junk. The next step is to write down every unaccounted-for gotta-do cramming your head onto its own scrap of paper. Finally, throw the whole stew into a giant "in-basket".

That's where the processing and prioritising begin; in Allen's system, it get a little convoluted at times, rife as it is with fancy terms, subterms, and sub-subterms for even the simplest concepts. Thank goodness the spine of his system is captured on a straightforward, one-page flowchart that you can pin over your desk and repeatedly consult without having to refer back to the book. That alone is worth the purchase price. Also of value is Allen's ingenious Two-Minute Rule: if there's anything you absolutely must do that you can do right now in two minutes or less, then do it now, thus freeing up your time and mind tenfold over the long term. It's common sense advice so obvious that most of us completely overlook it, much to our detriment. Allen excels at dispensing such wisdom in this useful, if somewhat belaboured, self-improver aimed at everyone from CEOs to football mums (who, we all know, are more organised than most CEOs to start with). --Timothy Murphy

Amazon Review

With first-chapter allusions to martial arts, "flow", "mind like water", and other concepts borrowed from the East (and usually mangled), you'd almost think this self-helper from David Allen should have been called Zen and the Art of Schedule Maintenance.

Not quite. Yes, Getting Things Done offers a complete system for downloading all those free-floating gotta-dos clogging your brain into a sophisticated framework of files and action lists--all purportedly to free your mind to focus on whatever you're working on. However, it still operates from the decidedly Western notion that if we could just get really, really organised, we could turn ourselves into 24/7 productivity machines. (To wit, Allen, whom the New Economy bible Fast Company has dubbed "the personal productivity guru", suggests that instead of meditating on crouching tigers and hidden dragons while you wait for a plane, you should unsheathe that high-tech sabre known as the mobile phone and attack that list of calls you need to return.)

As whole-life-organising systems go, Allen's is pretty good, even fun and therapeutic. It starts with the exhortation to take every unaccounted-for scrap of paper in your workstation that you can't junk. The next step is to write down every unaccounted-for gotta-do cramming your head onto its own scrap of paper. Finally, throw the whole stew into a giant "in-basket".

That's where the processing and prioritising begin; in Allen's system, it get a little convoluted at times, rife as it is with fancy terms, subterms, and sub-subterms for even the simplest concepts. Thank goodness the spine of his system is captured on a straightforward, one-page flowchart that you can pin over your desk and repeatedly consult without having to refer back to the book. That alone is worth the purchase price. Also of value is Allen's ingenious Two-Minute Rule: if there's anything you absolutely must do that you can do right now in two minutes or less, then do it now, thus freeing up your time and mind tenfold over the long term. It's common sense advice so obvious that most of us completely overlook it, much to our detriment. Allen excels at dispensing such wisdom in this useful, if somewhat belaboured, self-improver aimed at everyone from CEOs to football mums (who, we all know, are more organised than most CEOs to start with). --Timothy Murphy


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2123 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus (17 Mar. 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00SHL3V8M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 109 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,572 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My friend loaned me her copy of the first edition and I enjoyed it (and I like lists) so I bought this one which is updated to take account of new technology. I'm still getting to grips with it; as the author suggests you might need to do a bit at a time when changing your habits, but I have stopped putting work tasks in my calender, I have almost finished sorting my folders, and am working on the Next Action Lists which I have created for different work areas (issues to discuss with others, At PC, Waiting For etc), so I think that's a partial success. I've never had an overflowing in-tray or stuff all over my desk, so that was not an issue for me, and I was already applying some of the methods 'instinctively' so that was good to know!

I think the Next Action Lists, Projects list and 'someday/maybe' lists are good for keeping an overview and for a weekly review of progress and what needs to be done, but I still find I am more productive if I synthesise my priorities from those lists on to a 'stuff to do this week' list and a 'quick jobs this week' list, which mostly get done. I'll keep at it though; it has taken me a life time to get in to bad habits so it will take a bit to get me into better ones :-)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is one that gets you thinking a lot differently about your relationship with work and how you go about your day.

David Allen offers you his way of working smart and tells you how it has benefited him, and how it can benefit you.

You are left with the choice to adopt this way of living and working and he tells you what you can expect by organising your work like such.

What I got out of it is that his method is one for leaving your mind undisputed by things you have coming up by immediately having a place for all your new ideas. This leaves you with a fresh mind and a sense that everything is taken care of because you know where all your to dos and ideas are, physically.

A great read if nothing else
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't rate this book highly enough. I bought it after listening to some of the podcasts, and I can honestly say that it has changed my life. I'm more organised, more productive and far less stressed. I've even been asked to run some training as a result of the change in my practices. If you want to improve your organisation, productivity and mentality the buy this book. It's a great blend of practical advice supported by plain, comprehensible theory.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I desperately wanted to love this book. I had heard about GTD from several places, and I thought "Yep, this is ME". I think the principles behind this book are so valuable and could help a lot more people if it weren't surrounded in such WAFFLE! Seriously, this is the sort of stuff I lap up usually, but I couldn't get into this. Like others have said, it needs paring down a lot for it to be something the masses could get on board with. Shame really.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The supplier did a good job. The book arrived promptly and in perfect condition. The book's content was O.K. but not one of the best of its genre. It could have had a "snappier" style and become more readable and attention grabbing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have not finished this book. In fact, I've barely started it. But I can't keep reading it. Seriously, I don't think that I've read more than a few pages in a row. Try as I might, I can't help but find something else that totally changes my approach to being productive.

The central premise of the book is simple enough: if it takes less than a couple of minutes, get it done now. If you can't, or it takes longer than that, then add it to the list and carry on with else is there.

So, is it hyperbolic to call Allen the Mendeleev of task management? Maybe.

But I wouldn't know. I've not finished the book yet. I'm too busy getting everything else done now.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So good. I must admit that reading about how to organise your life is not the most exciting thing in the world. However the system is so effective and can be adapted to fit your life. Check out David Allens talk at google on you tube. It gives you an insight into his basic principles and makes the book easier to understand.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Incredibly effective book & I'm already recommending it to others. Even the simple practice of using capture & organise is saving me hours per week. If your head is overwhelmed with ideas & tasks and your week is a constant battle with time management then this is for you!
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