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ROC Weekly Management & Mindset Segment
Applying the "Getting Things Done" Method to Help You Crush Your Goals, Stay Focused, and Build Your Rehab Facility
“Getting Things Done,” by David Allen, aims to redefine the way you complete tasks and achieve goals. In the book, Allen describes a productivity methodology, claiming that your ability to relax affects your productivity.
He likens the secret of productivity to having a “mind like water.” This analogy describes the ability of water to regain peace once it is disturbed. For instance, if you throw a rock into water, it will splash and ripple, then regain its calm state. For our minds, whenever our thoughts lose focus due to outside events and triggers, we also need to regain its peaceful state. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we be productive and creative.
Writing and organizing tasks is the key to clearing your mind and gaining focus. If the task is on your mind, it will consume your thoughts and impede productivity. To move the tasks and ideas out of your mind, you can write, organize, and schedule them, then work with the lists you create.
The Getting Things Done method is a bottom-up approach, which states it is difficult to achieve large and long-term goals when you are unable to overcome the daily tasks required for them and your life. By thinking in advance and generating a series of actions which can later be undertaken without further planning, you can work towards achieving your goals.
Getting things done requires action and outcomes. You need to define what “done” means, and the actions you can take to get there.
The five steps of Getting Things Done
In the first stage, you can gather, write, or record all the information in a data collection tool, or on your inbox list. As new tasks and ideas arrive, continue to write them down.
Next, you can review what each task means and decide where each belongs in the Getting Things Done system. To assess each task, ask the following questions:
What kind of task is it?
Is it actionable?
What’s the next action?
Once you have reviewed your tasks, you can organize them into appropriate lists. Here are the lists that are involved in the system:
Inbox: This is the original list of all the tasks and ideas you have before they are organized.
Calendar: Only appointments are added to your calendar.
Projects: Projects are tasks that require more than one action to complete. For each project, define specific actions that are involved and enter them in your “next actions” list. You can enter any deadlines into your calendar.
Next actions: Your next actions list contains the specific tasks that can be done. You can create multiple versions of this list for different types of tasks, like personal tasks, work tasks, etc.
Waiting for: This is the list of tasks that you delegate to others or that you rely on others to complete for you. To help you monitor this, create dates to follow up and review progression.
Trash: Tasks that are not worth pursuing can be purged.
Someday/maybe list: This list contains tasks that are not an immediate priority but can be revisited at a later time.
In the reflect stage, you can review your lists and update as necessary. Review your calendar several times a day, check your to-do lists at least once a day, and empty your inbox once a day. During this stage, you can select the tasks that you will complete next. Try to do a weekly review of your lists, which can include:
Empty your head: Each week, write all your ideas in the inbox.
To-do list: Ensure your to-do list is up to date and that completed tasks are checked off. You can also review your next actions list.
Project lists: Check your project list to ensure it is up to date. Review the tasks you have completed.
Maybe/Someday lists: Assess whether to move any of the tasks on your maybe/someday list to the project list.
Calendar: Review your calendar to ensure it is up to date, assess whether you kept all your appointments, and confirm all your upcoming appointments are recorded.
Waiting For list: Check on the status of tasks on this list and follow up if necessary.
The engage stage is where you work on the tasks. Now that your tasks are divided and organized according to the system, you can prioritize and take action with confidence. There are four criteria you can use to decide what to work on next:
Context: Create context lists to help you divide your list of tasks. This will help you divide your large list and approach the ones that apply to your current context (work, family, etc). When you have free time, you can ask yourself which context you are in and which task you can accomplish.
Time available: Assess the time you have to complete a task and consult your list. Try to ensure your time availability matches the time demand of the task you choose.
Energy available: Monitor how you feel throughout the day and try to identify when you have the most energy and feel most productive. Try to schedule your most demanding tasks when you feel the most energized. Keep the smaller or easier tasks when you are less productive.
Priority: Once you have assessed your tasks based on context, time, and energy, you can then use priority to determine what to complete. Choose the task that is most important to complete next.
Strengths of this system
Organization- This system lets you organize your personal and professional life in a way that helps you maintain focus and remember what needs to get done.
Scheduling- As this system divides your tasks into steps, it can help decrease feelings of overwhelm and can help you achieve larger goals by creating smaller, actionable steps.
Freedom- Although the system is detailed, it can help give you freedom as you decide on the tasks to perform and in which order to do so.
Structure- Having your tasks outlined and organized can help you focus on those that are most important and help you avoid going back and forth between tasks, which reduces productivity.
Reliability- By following the system, you can complete your tasks on time without overlooking any. This will help you stay on schedule and make the most of your time as you work.
If you would like to read the book, you can order it here.
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