Where do you go wrong? (GTD throwback)

May 28, 2023

Yesterday I was doing some research for my upcoming Todoist course and stumbled on a fabulous article on the Todoist website.

The article is about implementing David Allen’s GTD system in Todoist. Even if you don’t use Todoist, the article is well worth a read, because it’s an excellent summary of Getting Things Done and how to apply that method to your work.

I don’t follow the GTD system religiously. In fact, I only read the Getting Things Done book several years ago. Perhaps I independently discovered that many of Allen’s techniques just work or perhaps he inspired others who in turn inspired me. Probably a mix of both.

I don’t like to follow any particular system too rigidly, but Allen expertly outlined a method for processing all the information that’s thrown at us and making it useful.

As the article on the Todoist website reminds us, there are five key steps to the GTD method:

  1. Capture: collect what has your attention
  2. Clarify: process what it means
  3. Organize: put it where it belongs
  4. Reflect: review your lists to regain focus
  5. Engage: do the work

It’s a lovely model. I might tweak it a bit: for example, if you can organize while capturing, that’s great. But that’s nitpicking. These five things are indeed necessary for productivity.

How are you doing on each step?

Are you, for instance, very strong on capturing but not so strong on organizing? Or are you maybe always in “go, go go” mode and do you rarely step back to reflect and review? It’s also possible that your day-to-day productivity is good, but that your big goals are falling by the wayside.

Where does it go wrong for you?

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