Getting Things Done at a glance – a quick way to improve your productivity starting today! (+ free printables)

David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) method inspired me to revolutionize my life and create an organization system. In his book, the author shows how to organize and track your tasks and projects in an extremely effective way. If you haven’t read this book yet, I’d like to introduce to you some basic principles that made me significantly improve my time management skills.

Create your inbox (The in list)

This is the special place where you collect all the ideas and tasks as they occur to you. You can write them down in the special section of your planner or collect them in a box or basket. Of course, you can do both if you want to. Write your tasks with assigned dates. Do not analyze these tasks at that stage! Just write them down as they are. There will be time to think about them later. You’ll classify these tasks to other places in the planning system once a week as a weekly review.

Processing the in list

When processing a task in your inbox ask yourself: Do I need to do something with this? If the answer is NO, you have 3 options:

1. Throw it away and don’t think about it ever again

2. Write it on a Someday/Maybe list

3. Incubate – sleep on it and make a decision later

If the answer is YES – name this action and classify and assign a task to an adequate TO-DO list.

Make your TO-DO lists in a smart way

Instead of creating endless TO-DO lists for every day, you can segregate your tasks into a kind of as-soon-as-possible lists. There are some special sections in this planner based on contexts. What does it mean? Contexts are the next actions lists considering where the action can be done, or what equipment you need to perform it. Examples of the next action lists are: Home list, Computer list, or Everywhere list. Examples of the next actions are: Bake a chocolate cake (Home), Send an e-mail to Anna (Office).

Examples of To-do lists based on contexts:

  • Home list
  • Office list
  • Out list
  • Computer list
  • iPad list
  • Online list
  • Everywhere list

You can download a special TO-DO list template I prepared for you here – for free!

Important rule:

The next action has to be a simple, physical and visible action to move the project closer to its purpose. Make sure that those lists only contains the things you can choose to do anytime.

Write out your projects

A project is a goal that requires more than one action to be qualified as completed. You can prepare and use some project categories such as:

  • Work Projects
  • Personal Growth
  • Health & Beauty
  • Self-care
  • Other

Remember to write out every project into smaller steps (next actions).

Useful tip:

If the action takes two minutes or less – do it now.

You can download a template I prepared for you here – for free!

Create The waiting tasks list for delegated actions

When you are waiting for someone else to do a task, write it down on the list of delegated actions. Remember to mark these tasks with the current date.

Make the Someday/Maybe list for all your ideas

This list is intended for all of your amazing projects and ideas you may want to accomplish at some time in the future.

About the Calendar…

According to the Getting Things Done method, the calendar is intended only for things that have to be done at a certain time.

I’m currently working on my first serious digital planner. It was inspired by the GTD method. I’m really excited! I hope that I’ll finish it this month, so stay tuned! 🙂

Update: The Getting Things Done digital planner is available now in my shop! To get more info about this planner click here.


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