Getting Things Done – the Right Way !


 

Getting Things Done by David Allen is a revolutionary book, it became a cult soon after it was published and acquired a place in pop culture as GTD (short of getting things done), which its popularly known today. The book suggests an outline for getting control of your life through the five stages of mastering workflow/mindflow: collection, processing, organizing, reviewing and doing. It has been a little over a decade since its publication and the GTD method has been quoted, recycled and talked about so many times since its inception that it has now seeped into the public consciousness, somewhat obvious to most of us, and yet most of us forget to use this wonderful method to empty our minds on to a tangible platform to get things done!

Although the book has about 13 chapters altogether, and is fairly long book, but luckily you don’t have to spend too much time revisiting or reading how to apply GTD to get maximize productivity because the author himself has provided a flowchart of actions, so the book also lives up to its teaching of avoiding wastage of mental resources to free up time for more important tasks at hand. Already off to a good start!

 Simply start with taking some time out, gather a notepad or anything else to write upon, just empty your mind of things at the top of your mind as tasks to be done.  After you have written those down, simple recall the flowchart or look at it (attached below). Examine each task by running it through the steps of the flow chart and render it a priority.

One of the big reasons why this method works so seamless is because of a phenomenon called Zeigarnik Effect, which is the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts about an objective that was once pursued and left incomplete (Baumeister & Bushman, 2008). Because a task has been given a relatively higher priority in your mind, it keeps popping in your mind, just as when an app is opened on your mac pc and the the app icon bobs up and down till you give it attention by clicking on it. It can bother and distract you from your current task.

One you align your thoughts with actionables, your mind simple frees the space to be more productive.

Start with collection, gather all the tasks that have to be completed. You can any collection tool of your choice, a notepad, an app, email or whatever suits you.  The book mentions three “collection success factors”: 1. Every open loop must be in your collection system and out of your head. 2. You must have as few collection buckets as you can get by with. 3. You must empty them regularly.

Then comes the processing stage, which is mostly running the task through the flowchart to determine its urgency.

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In the Organize stage, the author describes eight categories of reminders and materials: trash, incubation tools, reference storage, list of projects, storage or files for project plans and materials, a calendar, a list of reminders of next actions, and a list of reminders of things you’re waiting for.

The fourth stage is reviewing, which is go back at a scheduled time every week or day, to look at the aligned tasks.

The fifth and the most important step is DOING, here he talks about the 5 phases of project management.

    Defining purpose and principles — In defining purpose, one asks “why?” Answering this question provides the following benefits: it defines success, creates decision-making criteria, aligns resources, motivates, clarifies focus and expands options. Principles create the boundaries of the plan and define the criteria for excellence of behavior.

    Outcome visioning — A vision provides a picture of the final result. Allen discusses the Reticular Activating System within the brain and how it acts like a search engine. In defining the desired outcome, this filter in the brain brings to one’s attention those things that match the vision. In addition, Allen states that you won’t see how to do it until you see yourself doing it, and his advice is to view the project from beyond the completion date, envision “WILD SUCCESS”, and capture features, aspects, qualities you imagine in place.

    Brainstorming — Brainstorming identifies how one gets from here to there through the generation of lots of ideas. Allen recommends writing down these ideas to help generate many new ones that might not have occurred had the brain not been emptied by writing down the original ideas. Writing ideas down also provides an anchor to keep one focused on the topic at hand. This idea of writing to spur thinking has been labeled as “distributed cognition”. Keys to effective brainstorming are: don’t judge, challenge, evaluate, or criticize; go for quantity, not quality; and put analysis and organization in the background.

    Organizing — Allen describes the key steps to include: identify the significant pieces; sort by components, sequences and/or priorities; and detail to the required degree.

    Identifying next actions – Author states that a project is sufficiently planned when every Next Action has been decided on every front that can actually be moved on without some other components having to be completed first.

Now you are wondering how all of the above sounds like a lot of work, and wishing there was a ready made solution to this problem as well, that is exactly what the people at laywi.com thought, before they came up with the design for a website that does exactly that.

An application that holistically helps its users plan and achieve their goals and tasks, using a scientific backing?

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LAYWi is the answer to all of your planning and goal management needs.

LAYWi is a new age personal development website that helps you prioritize, organize and get things done. www.laywi.com has an inbuilt project management/development system that lets you define principles/values, define your vision, clarify your strengths and weaknesses using a SWOT analyses of all important areas of one’s life, and most of all it organizes all your main areas into one place, easily reviewed on everyday basis.

 

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Plus it has tools such as To-Do Lists, checklists, diaries, storage for all your important documents and a section to retain all your favorites’ in any given category.

It is a one big digital solution for all your life organization, planning needs.

Its free, accessible, user friendly and has been designed to let you live your life to the fullest capacity possible.

Sky is the limit for those who want to aim!

 
 

What’s your SWOT?


“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Journey to your desired destination starts from knowing yourself, strength and weaknesses and all. Knowing yourself can help you understand who you are and what you can become. We are all unique and possess unique abilities. No two people are the same. But we all have the ability to become our truest self. In today’s fast paced world, so much information is being tossed from all corners of the world. So many self help books published, so many self proclaimed Spiritual Gurus emerge every day, every day a new fad is born and often we get carried away with it all but what we forget is, although, all these research backed booked and ancient scriptures maybe full of wisdom, it does not necessarily apply to us.

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Only when we are sure of who we are, what are our values and what makes us unique, can we then embark upon a journey to a richer life.

To start a self assessment, use a tool called SWOT analysis. S is for strength, W for weakness, O for opportunity and T is for threat. This unique and effective tool was designed by Albert Humphrey. All you need is a worksheet and a clear mind.

Go in the order of S-W-O-T. Start with noting down all strengths, since SWOT in comparative tool, you don’t have assess the degree of your trait but how much of an advantage it is to you over anyone else. Ask yourself, what qualities do you possess over others; what do you do better than others; your achievements, the resources you possess that are advantageous to you etc. Or just simply make a list of all your characteristics and sieve through your stronger ones for strengths.

Next come W, weaknesses. Note down all the things that you are not so confident about. Things that hinder you while you trying to achieve something. For instance personality trait, negative habits, lack of a diploma etc.

Then comes O, opportunity, think of all the opportunities you have that can be taken advantage of to surpass competition. For instance, any talent, network of professionals, work experience inheritance etc.

Last comes T, threats, these are different from weaknesses in the sense that they come from outside, like a lousy boss or competing colleagues. They can’t be manipulates whereas weaknesses can be easily controlled.

So now that we know what S-W-O-T stands for, go ahead and get a worksheet and write down your SWOTs and analyze the results. When you know your advantages and disadvantages, it’s easy to plan your projects in life. Not only better planning and strategizing is facilitated, you face less disappointment also because you only put your hand on the projects where there is a better chance of success.

You can do different SWOT for different aspects of your life, like one each for professional, personal, social etc.

You can take this one step further by signing up on www.laywi.com. Laywi has pre-defined templates to do a SWOT analysis on; they cover all the basic values. But at the same time, you can create your own template and evaluate them. Laywi.com stores your results for as long as you want, in a SWOT box and with an addition of a habit box on top. And you can reevaluate anytime you would like to.

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Another priceless feature is one can directly link a trait on SWOT to the project management segment of the website. So not only are you getting to know your characteristics, you are also creating projects to gain your ideal state.

It’s accessible, free, secure and very convenient. Life as you want it is a click away.