Episode 21: David Allen and Getting Things Done for College Students

November 9, 2015

We are 2/3 of the way through the college semester! Time to get shit done! Speaking of getting things done…
How I came to learn about GTD, the ultimate compliment when I read the book.
This lecture was my first experience with David Allen, and it left a mark on me.
Key Info for this Podcast: 
I’m very impressed with David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) system. It’s very thorough, and I’ve borrowed practices over the past year which have helped me achieve this “mind like water” mindset at times.
The premise of the system is that our brains are terrible at remembering information, and notorious for thinking of things you need to do at the worst possible time.
It relies heavily on data capture, being meticulous with your next actionable steps list, and a thorough weekly review to keep things from falling off your plate.  One drawback is that it is a time consuming process to set up initially, but my goal is to try this over the winter break.
 GTD workflow for college students for goal achievement
Have an “inbox” or multiple inboxes to collect all incoming material
When you review, ask “Is it actionable?”
If no, trash/incubate/reference
If yes, can it be done in 2 mins (do it then).
If no, add to next actions/projects, and/or delegate (waiting for)
Tickler system for incubate items
The many lists of GTD
  1. Inbox list
  2. Next Action
  3. Waiting For
  4. Projects (Open Loops)
  5. Someday/Maybe
  6. A calendar is required, but not emphasized
Wrap-Up/Home Exercise:
The suggested home exercises for each week this semester:
  1. Set a big goal that ties into your passion.
  2. Write it down, then figure out the first few steps and write them down too.
  3. Figure out dependable time capture and task management tools.
  4. Look back at the first steps, think about what they might have in common, they should lead you to developing a simple ritual (waking up earlier, studying at same time every day, drinking more water).
  5. Today, think about the people around you, or the places where you have the opportunity to meet people. Think about one person you can approach to have a conversation. Again, you’re not asking them to be your mentor. You just want them at this point to know who you are.
  6. Try to work a weekly review into your workflow; get into the ritual of methodically checking up on your To-Do list and calendar once a week.
  7. Think about the things that are bogging you down.  Which quadrant do you see them in? How we can we devote more of our time and resources to Quadrant 2?
  8. This week, try to take a step back, and look at where you’re at a little more globally. Are you on the right path?
  9. Be proactive! Do something to get you closer to your goals that you’ve been thinking about but having trouble executing.
  10. Clarify your To-Do list. Are all of the steps actionable? Are you waiting on anything from anyone? Start a Someday/Maybe list to get those things off your mind.
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