[Podcast] Ep101: The Zen-like Art of ‘Getting Things Done’

I’m commonly asked, “How in the world do you balance so many different projects at once?” In this episode I give away my secret weapon and the foundation of my entire productivity system – GTD.

» Click here to download a summary of the GTD system plus a visual flowchart

In my never ending quest to eliminate as much busy work from my life as possible and take clear action towards my goals, I’ve spent years navigating the world of productivity and learning everything I can (hence my obsession with Trello). There are so many tools, apps, websites, and resources to help organize your to-do lists, but the fatal flaw of every single one of these tools is just that – they are just tools.

If you are truly interested in learning how to not only get more things done, but also ensure that you get the RIGHT things done, you need more than a shiny tool or a fancy to-do list app: You need a system. And in my opinion, the system that is going to – help you clarify your goals, organize your next actions, and most importantly clear the cobwebs in your head so you free up space to be creative again – is the GTD system developed by my guest David Allen.

Whether your tool of choice is Trello, OmniFocus, or even post-it notes, the GTD system can help alleviate tremendous amounts of stress and anxiety, avoid the never ending busy work, and get you on track to accomplishing your life’s work.

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Topics of Conversation:

  • Knowing the relationship between strength and relaxation
  • David’s path to studying Zen-spirituality and becoming a master of efficiency
  • The art of being present and engaging with your world
  • How treating your brain like a filing cabinet can be harmful
  • Learning to quantify and manage your tasks in a physical space
  • How you can fuel your brain to maximize creativity
  • Taking the simple steps of the GTD system and freeing your mind form clutter
  • Following the “Two-Minute Rule”
  • Using batching to handle busy-work efficiently
  • The importance of a “Someday, Maybe” knowing which tasks are most urgent
  • Knowing how to factor @Contexts into your project organization
  • Trusting in the inevitability of mistakes and learning to grow through them

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Getting Things Done (GTD)

FiP Ep23: Hacking Your Productivity with Zack Sexton

FiP Ep38: Task Management and Establishing Rituals

FiP Ep 51: Minimizing Paperwork to Maximize Creativity

FiP Ep93: How to Escape Your Email (And Finally Achieve Inbox Zero)

Guest Bio:

David Allen is an author, consultant, international lecturer, Founder and Chairman of the David Allen Company. The David Allen Company is a productivity training and consulting company that provides services designed to increase performance, capacity and aligned execution. They count among their clients some of the world’s most prestigious corporations, including over 40% of Fortune 100 companies.

David Allen is widely recognized as the world’s leading authority on personal and organizational productivity. His 30 years of pioneering research, coaching and education of some of the world’s highest-performing professionals has earned him Forbes’ recognition as one of the “Top five executive coaches” in the United States, and as one of the “Top 100 thought leaders” by Leadership Magazine. Fast Company hailed David Allen “One of the world’s most influential thinkers” in the arena of personal productivity, for his outstanding programs and writing on time and stress management, the power of aligned focus and vision, and his ground-breaking methodologies in management and executive peak performance. David Allen was named one of the top ten business leaders of 2014 by the American Management Association.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, the show notes were prepared by Jakin Rintelman, and this show is executive produced by Kanen Flowers. We are a member of theTHAT STUDIO podcast network.

The music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Dorian Cheah from his brilliant album ARA.

Zack Arnold is an award-winning film & television editor (Burn Notice, Empire, Shooter, Glee), member of the American Cinema Editors, a documentary director (GO FAR: The Christopher Rush Story), and creator of the Optimize Yourself program (formerly ‘Fitness In Post’). He helps ambitious creative professionals like you learn how to more efficiently manage your time, energy, and attention so you can maximize your creative focus and minimize procrastination, depression, and burnout. After all, what’s the point of killing yourself for the sake of your career if you don’t have energy to spare for the most important people in your life?