The GTD method (Getting Things Done) method is a method to improve and increase organizational skills, efficiency and creativity without stress. applicable at work and at home.
The GTD method in 5 steps :
- Gather what needs to be gathered ! (Collection) : It is important to know what is important to collect. If a task to be performed is outstanding, it is not the task that suffers but you. Without cluttering your mind with a lot of details, you have to pick up everything that will sooner or later require a decision or action. You will go through the following steps to process and review everything.
- Be ordained ! (Clarification) : In this step, all you need is a wastepaper basket or your digital bin. You can use a timeline or calendar for your documents that will require action and a good filing system for all your documents that serve as a reference.
- Let’s get organized ! (Structuring) : Sort your documents, their destinations are the bin, incubation or reference. In the management of the elements to be implemented, you will adopt a classification system that suits you best. You can use a list of projects, folders, storage, an agenda, a list of action reminders, etc… As soon as you are in a project with an expected result within a certain time frame, you must carry out weekly reviews.
- Improve its efficiency ! (Reflection) : Thanks to the clarification and structuring, you were able to organize yourself beforehand. Now you can think effectively about your tasks. If you are in a long-term project, your periodic review will be used to adjust and prioritize your tasks.
- Silence, engine, action ! (Action) : All you have to do is concentrate on your tasks.
An origin impossible to detect from one’s own organizational stress
New technologies that have continued to spread have blurred the boundaries of our commitments in our lives. To be able to exploit all these new technologies and stay on top, we must make a constant effort to maintain efficiency in our working methods. We are all confronted with an ever-increasing flow of information that is more or less relevant. This abundance can be fabulous and also treacherous by making us victims of incessant distractions.
Nothing had prepared us in our professional activities for the rapid and dramatic changes in the technological revolution. It has changed the nature of our activities and increased our stress level. It is difficult to perceive well-defined boundaries in our professional projects. This vagueness that lies in most projects creates more work for all stakeholders.
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Anxiety results from lack of control, organization, preparation and actionDAVID KEKICH
In addition, it is difficult to know where our professional lives begin and end because of a constant redefinition of our responsibilities and interests in our lives in general. There is a lack of clarity everywhere – in the office, at home, in the car, on the plane, in the local café, on weekends, on Monday mornings and even on holidays. We must choose the most relevant information to get the best out of it.
As far as e-mail is concerned, urgency has ceased to be the exception and has become the rule! It has given way to stress and pressure, not to hindsight and reflection. So we became overworked and fallible.
Recognize that no smartphone application, seminar, or good resolution will give you more than 24 hours in a day. None of these solutions will be able to make the right choices for you. The most important question we must ask ourselves is the following :
How do you know at any time that you are doing the right thing ?
Our mind keeps reminding us of all these things that have not begun or ended without being able to remedy them. This means that every time we decide to do something and store it only in our heads, a part of ourselves believes that we must be doing it and constantly reminds us of it. As soon as we store more than 2 things, a thought agonizes us with blame because we are unable to do 2 things at the same time. It is impossible to detect the source of this stress.
Our environments clutter our minds
During the second half of the XXᵉ century, the notion of work mainly concerned “labour”. Today, in this knowledge-based economy, it concerns the “brainpower”.
Work and its cognitive boundaries have become ambiguous and unclear. The same is true for time and space. In addition, the amount of accessible and potentially useful information is growing exponentially.
Freedom can only be usefully defined by considering it as the great issue in human life, i.e. the process by which man can educate his reactions and learn to control his environmentWALTER LIPPMANN
Our lives have cycles where sometimes things get better and sometimes they get worse. At times, we are submerged and at other times, we float back to the surface as best we can. Our days only last 24 hours and we can accomplish a number of things in a limited way, as well as for our relationships with other people.
We are in an insoluble tension that never loosens its grip. When we do things that are imposed on us or when we are not in our place. Many people are concerned in a society that suffers from existential anxiety.
The majority of children do not learn to process information, identify successful actions or focus on results. This journey tends to grow to prevent us from taking advantage of opportunities and rewards to produce value in a sustainable way. For most of us, we have a rather vague idea of the next action to be taken in our projects and commitments.
Impossible to prepare for what is completely new! Everyone must adapt and to any radical adaptation there is a crisis of self-esteem: we are tested, we must assert ourselves. It takes a controlled self-confidence to face a radical change without shiveringERIC HOFFER
We live in a paradox ! We can enjoy a better quality of life while under stress by accepting responsibilities that exceed our resources. We tend to have bigger eyes than our stomachs. Too many options and opportunities are accompanied by overload and pressure on choices and decisions. Many are anxious and confused and wonder how to improve their situation.
Peaceful cruises on the long, tranquil river have become a luxury. Everything changes as you read these lines. And if, during this reading, you were distracted by your phone, forced to answer emails, you are touching on this obsession to never be late. Reacting is automatic, thinking is not.
Organizational systems do not work with most of us because they have not been able to transform all the concerns they are trying to address. As long as they clutter our minds we will not be able to manage them.
The GTD method to the rescue
In a turbulent and structured environment, it is difficult to remain relaxed, focused and in control. Therefore, it is necessary to rethink the way we work and adopt new methods, techniques and work habits.
It is important to focus on our core values and objectives. This will sometimes result in difficult choices about what to stop doing and what should be the focus of our attention among an infinite number of alternatives.
A conscious effort of concentration is required towards a result and action. You can train a little like an athlete to become faster, more responsive and more focused. It is within our reach to think more effectively and manage the result with greater ease and control.
Constraint creates talent. An individual who is always asking for more will be formidable for efficiency if he knows how to rethink his way of working and if he is able to change the way he looks at things.
The GTD method is not just about doing things but about getting a healthier relationship with your life’s work. It guides you in choosing what to do and when to do it to eliminate all sources of distractions or stress on the task to be performed at the moment T. The clarity of mind and the resulting mental space can be useful to everyone and not just to a few executives who are mainly thinking about their careers.
To achieve stress-free productivity, GTD method helps you define :
- The result of the project
- The action to be taken. And this is far from obvious to most people when they talk about things that polarize their attention.
Vision is not enough, it must be combined with the company. It’s not enough to look at the stairs, you have to climb themVACLAV HAVEL
The GTD method also recommends starting at the level of daisies, i.e. with the most common activities and commitments.
It teaches us to identify the real emergencies of those who are not. We can regularly review our priorities and agree to no longer do a number of time-consuming, unimportant and non-urgent tasks. GTD method helps on the only real work, making the right choice every time.
And you, what organizational system do you adopt ?
To go further…
David Allen In : The Getting Things Done Workbook: 10 Moves to Stress-Free Productivity [Online] The format of the paper book is available on : < https://amzn.to/37znToM >