Around 5 years ago I first read David Alan’s book Getting Things Done and started to implement the system in my work life. It was last year I also started to add personal tasks to the system as well for the truly single source of truth when it comes to things I need to get done.
Not only has this freed up huge amounts of mental capacity, I am also sleeping better and have more down time for my family. This mental space has also allowed me to start a new business in meal prep and seen huge growth in my digital marketing business.
It was at this point I realised a lot of productivity advice while well intended misses a key point that David Alan got eight years ago. By breaking down everything to a next action and leaving noting unclaimed you can just get things done without thinking. Moving from task to task in the moment with all the thinking done in advance gives you the state of flow you need to have a productive day.
The real secret in David Alan’s methodology is the weekly review. This is were the magic happens and you get organised for the week ahead.
Every Sunday I sit down for an hour and go through every task asking myself a few questions for each one:
- Is this still relevant / does this still need doing
- Is this a clear actionable task
- Is this a single step or does it need to be a project (a project is anything that takes more than 1 step to complete)
- Can I delegate the task
- Will this task take less than 2 minutes
- Do I need any specific tools / equipment / location to complete this task
After answering these questions for every task in my system I then move on to planning the week ahead. At this point I open my calendar and look at what commitments I have upcoming. If any task for these meetings come to mind I add it to my system. I then look back at the last week and see if anything new comes to mind from last weeks meetings adding anything I think of to the system.
Finally I start planning. What tasks I can achieve on each day of the week back on my calendars events and commitments. Once this process is complete I have completed my weekly review and I am prepared for another productive week of getting things done.