Getting Things Done

Building a Meaningful Life from the Bottom Up

One of the biggest struggles of modern life is the search for meaning and purpose. Most of the time, we go through our day-to-day lives just accomplishing the things we need to get done and relishing the spare time that’s left over. It can feel a lot like jogging on a treadmill, where life is …

Life Events as Triggers

I’m a busy person and, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m only able to keep track of all of the stuff I need to get done and all of the projects I need to work on by externalizing them as much as possible. I jot down ideas and tasks as they come to mind and spend …

The Weekend Restock

In 2003 or 2004, I read David Allen’s Getting Things Done for the first time. For those of you unfamiliar with the book, it presents a very novel system along with countless specific solutions for dealing with the ongoing problem of managing one’s time and energy in a modern information-heavy world. I highly encourage you …

A Sunburn and Two Post-It Notes

This morning, I took all three of my children with me to the grocery store, where we bought food for the next two weeks or so. After I unloaded those groceries and we had a nice family lunch, I took my oldest son to soccer practice, did some household chores, then the five of us …

How Important Is It to Start Early?

I get a lot of emails from people in their forties and fifties who are suddenly panicking about their retirement savings. Often, they don’t have any or they have very little, yet they still want to retire at age 65. At the same time, I also get emails from people in their twenties who are …

Making It All Work – In the Real World

This is the nineteenth entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. Much of this book focuses not on the day-to-day actions that fill our lives, …

Making It All Work – Getting Perspective: Gracie’s Gardens Revisited

This is the eighteenth entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. In an earlier section of the book, Allen tells the tale of a guy …

Making It All Work – Getting Perspective at Fifty Thousand Feet: Purpose and Principles

This is the seventeenth entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. Why am I here? What is the purpose of my life? How do I …

Making It All Work – Getting Perspective at Forty Thousand Feet: Vision

This is the sixteenth entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. “What would long term success look, sound, and feel like?” Again, Allen opens the …

Making It All Work – Getting Perspective at Thirty Thousand Feet: Goals and Objectives

This is the fifteenth entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. “What do I want to achieve?” Allen opens the chapter with this question and …

Making It All Work – Getting Perspective at Twenty Thousand Feet: Areas of Focus and Responsibility

This is the fourteenth entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. What, exactly, are areas of focus? I think the best way to spell this …

Making It All Work – Getting Perspective at Ten Thousand Feet: Projects

This is the thirteenth entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. All of us have ongoing tasks in our lives – individual things that need …

Making It All Work – Getting Perspective on the Runway: Next Actions

This is the eleventh entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. Starting with this chapter, Making It All Work spends some time focusing on how …

Making It All Work – Getting Perspective

This is the eleventh entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. For me, this is the exact point at which the book moved from an …

Making It All Work – Getting Control: Applying This to Life and Work

This is the tenth entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. Allen takes an interesting detour in this chapter. Here, Allen uses the example of …

Making It All Work – Getting Control: Engaging

This is the ninth entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. Engaging? To put it simply, the fifth (and final) element of positive engagement with …

Making It All Work – Getting Control: Reflecting

This is the eighth entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. For me, the single most important part of keeping my life on track and …

Making It All Work – Getting Control: Organizing

This is the seventh entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. So, you’ve dumped all of the stuff out of your brain and you’ve put …

Making It All Work – Getting Control: Clarifying

This is the sixth entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. Earlier this week, we talked about the idea of “capturing” – getting everything that’s …