A Few Productivity Tools for Individuals: GTD and 4 Quadrants of Activity

Pamela Poole over to Web Worker Daily wrote up a funny outline of the
different types of productivity methods that often come in and go out
of fashion. She highlights one that was new to me: GTDGetting Things Done. GTD is from David Allen and is summarized as:

Sophisticated without being confining, the subtle effectiveness of GTD
lies in its radically common sense notion that with a complete and
current inventory of all your commitments, organized and reviewed in a
systematic way, you can focus clearly, view your world from optimal
angles and make trusted choices about what to do (and not do) at any
moment. GTD embodies an easy, step-by-step and highly efficient method
for achieving this relaxed, productive state. It includes:

  • Capturing anything and everything that has your attention
  • Defining actionable things discretely into outcomes and concrete next steps
  • Organizing
    reminders and information in the most streamlined way, in appropriate
    categories, based on how and when you need to access them
  • Keeping
    current and “on your game” with appropriately frequent reviews of the
    six horizons of your commitments (purpose, vision, goals, areas of
    focus, projects, and actions)

I
bet this type of structure is great for many people, but I couldn’t get into it. But as Pamela Poole point out, this simple quadrant from
Stephen Covey is very effective.

When
you use something like this though, you have to acknowledge the reality
of it – you will need to work on each quadrant to stay with it.
Otherwise you could get burned out.

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