Posted November 25, 2008.
If you're anything like me, you're constantly juggling priorities and deadlines and struggling to keep on top of a ton of key activities.
And since starting my own business, I've found that there are many more things that need my personal attention – and no PA or team to delegate to.
So I've found that my personal productivity has become critical to my business success.
A number of years ago I started using the popular Getting Things Done methodology from David Allen. It really helped me get control of all my activities and ensure I didn't “drop the ball” on any of the key ones.
GTD focuses on developing a “Trusted System” to get all your ideas and actions out of your head, scraps of paper, emails, texts etc. into a limited number of physical and electronic Inboxes. It introduces a method for processing the Inboxes in a structed and efficent manner – along with key principles like the use of “contexts” and focusing on Next Actions.
Over the years I modified the system – adding in elements of Strategy, Prioritisation and Planning which I used when running consulting projects.
Of course, I'm not alone in building on GTD. Many variants have been produced, and lots of tools: from software such as GTD Agenda and Nozbe to the various varieties of Hipster PDA and paper-based planning forms like the D*I*Y Planner.
But recently I ran across what I believe to be the best – most practical implementation to date. Especially those who aren't naturally fluent in organisation and admin. The Zen to Done system from Zen Habits founder Leo Babauta combines GTD with principles from Steven Covey's 7 Habits system – and most importantly, a series of habits which allow even the most disorganised of us to successfully adopt the system over time. It shares a lot in common with the system it took me years to develop – but takes it even further and makes it more practical. I liked it so much I signed up to become an affilliate straight away.
You can learn Zen to Done at the Zen Habits site – or download an ebook which goes into more detail and provides examples and FAQs. My suggestion: Try out the site first to see if you like it – then download the ebook. At only $9.50 it's an absolute steal.