THE GETTING THINGS
Done approach sets up a
systematic way of processing tasks, partially illustrated
at right. The goal: Reduce
effort and free up the mind
for more creative pursuits.
The key is to stick with
it. It may take a full day to
get your inbox to zero, clear
your desk and set up a filing
sytem. But the result is
worth it: a system that lets
you handle emergencies
when they pop up and
address day-to-day tasks
during a designated time.
Allen understands that
everyone’s comfort level
regarding messes, overflowing inboxes, etc. is different.
With a little effort and dedication each week, you can
get things done like Allen
For more information,
refer to Allen’s Web site at
—Stephanie E. Ponder
What is it?
Is it actionable?
what is the
lists / folders
If less than
Paper & digital
In communication system,
and track it on ...
For me to do,
specific to a day
For me to do, as
soon as I can
need it or pretend they don”t need it, and both of
those take up a lot of time. People have a lot of low-
level stress in their lives, and they”re willing and able
to tolerate a lot more of it than they need to.
How is GTD different from all of the other
David Allen”s newest bo ok,
Making It All Work, releases
on December 28 and will be
available at most Costco
locations and costco.com.
Getting Things Done is
available at costco.com.
self-help and productivity-training books and
programs that exist?
The biggest difference, experientially, is that most
of these other programs start with where you should
be, and so people look at these books or programs at
a deficit to begin with: “I’m not where I should be. Oh
no.” What GTD does is start with exactly where you
are, lets you feel successful about that, and helps you
get to the top of your game immediately. It’s no good
24 The Costco Connection DECEMBER 2008
feeling bad about where you’re not. Let’s start with
where we are and get better from there.
What would you like readers to take from GTD?
The first sentence of Getting Things Done: It’s
possible to surf on top of this game. It’s not that
hard. It’s not free. In other words, you can’t just be on
top because you want to; you have to work for it. But
it’s not like learning a new language or a new technology. You can learn these new behaviors. They’re
not hard to learn. Try it out. You’ll like it. C
J. Rentilly is a Los Angeles–based journalist who
writes about film, music and literature.