A Guide to Getting Things Done (GTD) – For Better Productivity

GTD or “Getting Things Done”, is a framework for organizing tasks and getting to-do’s done. In this article, we’ll break down GTD into easy-to-understand steps and see how it can make your work life way smoother.

GTD is a fancy name for a simple idea – it’s all about keeping your thoughts organized so you can focus on your work. The system helps you jot down your tasks, figure out what they really mean, and then organize them in a way that makes sense. This way your mind can focus on what matters – having ideas, not holding them.

Practical Applications in the Workplace:

1. Note Down Everything:

First things first, get a system in place to write down all your tasks and ideas. It could be an app on your phone or a good old notebook. The idea is to stop your brain from feeling like a messy room and give it some breathing space. Make sure to collect anything on your mind. From emails that require your attention to good ideas that come to you spontaneously. Gathering the so-called “open loops” or in other words the things that prevent you from sleeping at night, will free up space in your mind.

2. Make Things Clear and Tidy:

Once you’ve got your tasks written down, take a moment to understand what each one means. Break down big projects into smaller tasks – like breaking a big sandwich into bite-sized pieces. Use folders or labels to keep things neat and tidy.

3. Sort by Where and When:

Organize your tasks by giving them labels based on where and how you can get them done. Whether you’re at your desk, in a meeting, or on the move, having labels helps you pick tasks that match where you are. Also, put the most important tasks at the top of your list. If a task is not actionable, file it away as a reference, incubate it on a “Someday Maybe List”, or simply move it to the trash.

To help you out processing a new item in your inbox, simply follow this decision tree and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it actionable?
  • Does it only take a single step to complete?
  • Can it be done in 2 minutes or less?
  • Should I do it, or can it be delegated to someone else?
  • Does it have a specific due date or time?
Getting Things Done (GTD) Framework

4. Check Your List Regularly:

GTD is not a one-time thing; it’s a buddy that sticks with you. Set aside some time each week to look back on what you’ve done, what needs doing, and what’s changed. This helps you stay on top of your game and adjust your plan if needed. If you don’t review regularly, things pile up and the entire system falls apart.

5. Do Things One Step at a Time:

The main goal of GTD is to actually get things done. Break your tasks into small steps and tackle them one by one. This not only makes things less overwhelming but also gives you that awesome feeling of crossing stuff off your list.

If time tracking is part of your work life, consider adding the Kimai Mobile App to your toolkit. It plays nicely with GTD by helping you keep an eye on how much time you spend on tasks. It could be a cool addition if time tracking is your jam.

Getting Things Done isn’t just a method; it’s like having a friendly guide through your workday. By jotting down, understanding, organizing, and actually doing your tasks, GTD can turn your work life from chaotic to chill. Remember, it’s not about being perfect – it’s about making your workday work for you.