I’ve been posting a lot recently about finding one’s purpose (via discussions about The Highest Goal, Claiming Your Place at the Fire, The 8th Habit, others) and have spent some time discussing getting started (via a discussion about Art of the Start). This week, I am going to switch gears a bit and discuss personal productivity. Although different, it is really all related because highly productive people are more able to identify and act on and from their purpose.
I had the opportunity to chat with David Allen, productivity expert and author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity and Ready for Anything.
In the second part of Getting Things Done, David Allen offers a system and techniques for getting and staying organized and productive. First, he recommends we get started by taking the time to set up our space and tool for success. Here are a few hilights (with selected quotes from the book):
1. Dedicate two days to setting yourself up for success. The time will be well spent and you’ll feel great when it’s done.
2. If you don’t already have functional workspace and an inbox, get one.
3. “Don’t skimp on work space at home.” Even the home office should be properly set up. And you need your own space. Married couples should not share a work space.
4. “A simple and highly functional personal reference system is critical to this process. The filing system at hand is the first thing I assess before beginning the workflow process in anyone’s office.”
5. Keep fresh file folders at hand.
6. Purge your files at least once per year.
Allen offers examples and a detailed approach to get your filing system in order. This is an area where I obviously need a lot of improvement because I tend to be a stacker and not a filer. But I think Allen is right, creating a maintain a better system makes sense if we want to perform our best.
Allen has a cool process for corralling and organizing ALL our stuff. I will talk about this tomorrow. Stay tuned!
In the mean time, here are the links to his books: