Today's business world is highly competitive and ever-changing. If companies and their employees want to be able to face everyday challenges, they need to be productive and efficient. But, how to be more productive and efficient?
If you are struggling with trying to do everything you need to in one day, you should consider introducing a time management method to your life. Now, there are many time management techniques out there. Picking the right one and then mastering it can take some time.
One of the most popular time management methods is called Getting Things Done, or GTD for short, and in this post, we will be exploring how GTD can help you be more productive and efficient in both your work and personal life.
What is Getting Things Done?
The method was invented by productivity consultant David Allen in his 2001 bestseller Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. Over the years, GTD has gained a cult following because it has helped those that are struggling with distraction and lack of focus to better execute their tasks.
GTD is a method of organizing your schedule, your to-dos, and your priorities in a manageable way. What makes GTD special is that by using the method you will be able to easily see everything that you need to do and choose what you need to work on next. GTD's main emphasis is to get all your tasks out of your head and into a system that you can refer back to. By keeping all your tasks in an organizable system, you can have more mental clarity and thus work more efficiently.
What Are Some of the Benefits of GTD?
The main principles of GTD – capture, clarify, and review – are there to help you more easily meet all your professional and personal challenges. It eliminates the stress that usually comes from poor self-organization.
By following the GTD method, you can work less time but smarter, allowing you to both do more in less time and spend more time with your loved ones. GTD can help you balance your professional life so that you have more time and be less anxious like most people are when they are trying to do more and have that personal and professional balance.
Better Organization and Focus
Since the GTD method is a reference system that contains your inbox, calendar, and all your commitments in one place, you can focus more on your work knowing that you have an organized system backing you up.
The Five Steps of GTD
GTD is an organizational system. Instead of enforcing certain rules to how you do your work, GTD focuses on how you should capture the work you need to, organize it, and prioritize it. GTD lays on five pillars or steps that help you be organized.
- Capture everything – GTD encourages you to capture all your tasks, (even the recurring ones), your thoughts, and your ideas. You can capture them in a to-do app, a notes app, write them down on a piece of paper, or another method you prefer. Just make sure that the tool you use to capture does not disturb your everyday flow. By incorporating capturing in your normal flow, you can capture anything as it happens – which is exactly what GTD recommends.
- Clarify your captures – The second step is to clarify what you wrote down so that there are no obstacles to you turning your captures into actionable items.
- Organize your actionable items – You should organize all your tasks by category and by priority. Whenever you can, make sure you set the due date as well as reminders so that you follow up on your to-do items.
- Reflect on your tasks – Take a look at your task list and find your next action item. Prepare to do this task next if you have the time and energy. If you do not, move onto the next item. Also, make sure you periodically reflect on your task list and adjust your priorities accordingly.
- Engage – This is the final step in which you get to work. Start working on your next action item. Knowing which action item to work on next should not be hard as now you have organized all your tasks by priority and category.
GTD gives you a system to remember everything you need to do and to properly organize your work. By following GTD, you can spend less time thinking about what to do and instead devote more time to working.
How a Time Recording App Can Help You Be Better at GTD
Even though the first pillar of GTD does not explicitly say that you should use a specific method to capture your tasks, we believe that using our time recording app – Workpuls – can help you be better at GTD.
In addition to providing you with an easy way to capture your tasks, with our time recording app, you also can record the time it takes you to finish certain tasks. This can be useful in the fourth step of GTD, as knowing how long a similar task will take you will help you determine whether or not you have the time and energy to do it.
Better managing your time is not easy but it can be done. The first step in better time management is to try a method and there is a reason why GTD is so popular.
It may get a bad rep from some people for being too complicated, however, if GTD is implemented correctly and with the help of a time recording app, the benefits can be huge.