Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

On Getting Things Done


Getting Things Done has been my go-to productivity system for years. I started using David Allen’s system in 2003 because I have an incredibly messy process. At that point the digital world was beginning its overwhelm in incapacitating ways. I had no idea what to do with email. I started printing digital documents. There were stacks staking dominion in my office.

It was way, way out of control.

David Allen saved me.

I read his book a chapter at a time, following the directions like a cookbook. It took me three full working days. I did the mind sweep and created a physical inbox (which actually ended up being a physical table in the middle of the room.) It was a mess. But the mess that had completely taken over my office that week was the mess that had been in my head. A mess in the head causes a lot of stress. Unnecessarily.

David Allan taught me this:

the human brain is not designed for random, short-term bytes of information.

I’ve had to readjust my GTD system over the years. I’m about to begin the process of readjusting again. This is our last week in Asia, and we’re about to step into an entirely new line of work. It’s going to mean making sure my naturally disorganized, non-linear brain accomplishes the things it should.

But today on the eve of my 51st birthday, I don’t want to just get things done.

Anybody can do that.

I don’t know how many years I have left on this living, beautiful, wild piece of dust orbiting our star.

It’s no longer about quantity.

It’s about quality

I don’t want to simply get things done. That’s too easy.

I want to get the right things done.