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Getting Things Done. The Art of Stress Free Productivity by David Allen

by Katie6

You start the day early, sitting at your desk reviewing the days events on your calendar. You get a telephone call from a user with an issue regarding a release implemented a few days ago before you head into a morning meeting. At the meeting, you jot down tasks you need to look into by the end of the week.  Your boss has pushed up your requirements deadline. Getting back to your desk, you notice an email from a colleague asking for some assistance reviewing requirements for his project. You set out to reply, but remember you need to do some final preparation for a requirements workshop in the afternoon.  Your mind wonders to the persistent plumbing issue at your house, you need to make time to call the plumber today as well.

Does this sound like a day you have experienced? Are you looking for ways to manage tasks, handle priorities and be more productive? Are your experiencing stress trying to manage both work and home related tasks?
Reading Getting Things Done – The Art of Stress Free Productivity by David Allen, will surely get you on the path to creating and managing a calmer, clearer view of what you need to do and how to track your progress.  The book’s easy to follow productivity habits and methods has made it one of the best books I’ve read on productivity.

Key Learnings

  • Creating a collection system for tasks that come to you and things that come to mind (even those random thoughts you’re not sure what to do with)
  • Creating a simple filing system (really, it’s easy and anyone can do it).
  • Understanding how to prioritize what comes to you with simple questions. A flow chart is included. It’s so useful, I hung a copy in my cubicle.
  • How to take all those scraps of notes, random pieces of paper and other stuff and create one functional inbox.
  • The “two minute rule”.  If you have to do it and it will take 2 minutes or less…just do it and do it now.
  • How to keep your inbox at zero. I implemented this one quite quickly.
  • Taking the stuff that’s in your head and putting it into a system you can trust leaves your mind to undergo higher level and creative thinking. And we could all use more time for that.
  • Your psyche is not a system.
  • Take the time to determine what is your next action.
  • How to distinguish tasks from reference material.
  • Review your system regularly.
  • Understand your desired outcome before you define your next action.

Sticky Factor

  • Relevant and practical information, clearly presented.
  • Ideas anyone can implement quickly.


(Usefulness – 1 thru 5)

  • TheBACoach team rates this book at a 5 (Highly Recommended)

Download The Audio Book for FREE

As a listener of TheBACoach podcast you can download one FREE audiobook from Audible. Click on the image below to sign-up for a FREE 14 days trial membership and download “Getting Things Done” in the audio format, read by David himself.

Getting Things Done Audio Book - FREE Download for Audile trial membership






Have you read or listened to Getting Things Done? What parts of this book did you like the most? Please use the comments section below to give your feedback.



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Article by

Katie Metcalfe is a Business Analyst in the health care sector in Toronto for over 10 years. She is a passionate continuous learner and enjoys contributing to the business analysis community, sharing ideas and knowledge. Business process improvement is her favorite area of work. Katie is currently working towards an Advanced Certificate in Enterprise Architecture. She is an active member of the Toronto Chapter of the IIBA. In her free time Katie loves to hike and is a member of the Bruce Trail Conservancy in Toronto. She also likes yoga and snowshoeing and wishes to pursue kayaking in the future. She enjoys the learning that comes with travelling and meeting new people. In the future, she would like to use her BA skills to contribute to world aid initiatives.

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6 Responses to “Getting Things Done. The Art of Stress Free Productivity by David Allen”

  1. Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo says:

    Thanks for another great book review, Katie. In my view the collection piece of GTD is the most crucial part. There are a lot of Apps that people could use to create a collection system. One of my favorite apps is “Wunderlist” acts as a project-list and a collection system as well. :)

    I loved the audiobook version of this book, and loved the way David presented information. His advice to the listeners is to implement the system, and re-read the book again to see if they can refine it.

    With Audible giving away one FREE audiobook, this would be a great book to download.

  2. Katie Metcalfe says:

    Thanks Yamo! I will have to take a look at “Wunderlist”. You’ve got me curious :).

  3. Alan Lyons says:

    Great review Katie.

    Great app Yamo.

    Thanks again!

  4. […] this special 25th episode of the podcast, it is an honor to present David Allen. Author of “Getting Things Done – The Art of Stress-Free Productivity“, a book that can (potentially) change your life. I regard David to be the “Father of […]

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