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GTD in 15 minutes A Pragmatic Guide to Getting Things Done

GTD in 15 minutes A Pragmatic Guide to Getting Things Done

As a result, you might become reactive and waste valuable time on activities that contribute little to our overall productivity. Attach reference materials – photos, documents, links, notes, or even audio files – to the relevant tasks. Todoist makes is easy to capture and organize all your “open loops”. Every piece of paper, be it a receipt, letter, or a quick handwritten note, needs a temporary home before it gets processed. That’s where the inbox tray comes in handy, as the go-to spot for unsorted things.

  • David Allen calls this your Inbox—regardless of what tool you’re using.
  • That defeats the purpose of GTD which is to free your mind of these thoughts.
  • In other words, contexts allow you to focus on what you can actually get completed, given your current circumstances.
  • Organize tasks based on context (e.g., @computer, @phone, @office), priority, and deadline.

You can even type in recurring due dates, like every other Wednesday, for tasks that repeat on a regular basis. Identify the next action for each project by tagging it with the label “@next.”  To add a label, simply type “@” into the task field and start typing the task name. Explore five effective tactics to conquer time blindness, a common challenge affecting time perception and management. Learn practical strategies for enhancing productivity and achieving a more organized, time-conscious lifestyle.

GTD in 15 minutes – A Pragmatic Guide to

The review helps you adapt to changes, refocus your attention, identify next actions, and reflect on your workflow. Here is where the time spent clarifying and organizing your tasks pays off. Your system is now full of concrete, actionable items organized into logical categories, ready for you to jump in.

gtd methodology

By focusing on “next actions” and categorizing tasks, GTD allows individuals to be more efficient with their time. In the book “Making Work Work,” the author Shola Richards cites that the GTD method effectively boosts productivity. Are you feeling swamped with an endless to-do list, wondering if 24 hours is enough to complete it? A study by the Harris Poll for the American Psychological Association in 2020 highlighted that over half of Americans felt buried under tasks with little time to get to them. Distractions are everywhere, and striking a work-life balance is easier said than done.


Make sure that all your projects and tasks will eventually help you achieve these goals. This chart will help you ensure that the projects and tasks you do are meaningful to you and will help you achieve the things you want in life. All ideas with potential future relevance should be put onto a Someday/Maybe list. The next action is the immediate physical, visible activity that you need to do in order to move a task or project toward closure. You then need to ask yourself what the next action for this item or project is. This is the next physical, visible thing you can do to further the project.

gtd methodology

For a full guide on how to add and use labels in Todoist visit our Help Center. See your Todoist tasks in your Google Calendar and your Google Calendar events in Todoist. The rest of this article will cover the specifics of each of the five GTD practices above and walk you through how to implement them with Todoist. But, again, the same principles should apply no matter what tool you use. Write, record, or gather any and everything that has your attention into a collection tool. Flowcharts are helpful because they provide a clear, visual structure to the GTD system, allowing users to understand at a glance how different elements interact and what steps to take next.

Setting Up Your GTD Workspace

It typically includes boxes or shapes representing each step, with arrows indicating the flow of tasks and decisions between them. By clarifying tasks and breaking them down, GTD can aid in better decision-making. By providing a system to capture and organize tasks, GTD alleviates the stress these unfinished tasks can cause.

gtd methodology

Even if you aren’t aware of it, your brain is constantly “on” in the background, shuffling and rearranging your upcoming to-dos to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Whenever you introduce a new task to the mix, your brain needs to think through everything you have on the docket and reprioritize your work relative to this new task. For example, creating a project plan for your next project will take a lot of time and several steps to complete. Getting Things Done is an effective time management and organizational system backed by cognitive science.

One-off tasks

As Allen aptly states in his book, “The key to getting things done is defining what done means, what doing looks like, and where it happens.” Schedule your weekly review by setting up a recurring date in any task field. Simply enter your date in natural language, like “every Sunday at 5pm,” and Todoist will automatically recognize and schedule it when you save the task.

gtd methodology

Add your most important task views to your favorites so they appear at the top of your navigation menu above your Projects list. Simply right-click the filter, label, or project and select “Add to Favorites.” The filter will then show up in your navigation panel. You gtd system can also view all the tasks tagged with a specific label by clicking on the label’s name in the label list to the left of your Todoist. To view a full list of next actions across all your projects, type “@next” into the Quick Find bar at the top of your Todoist.

It ensures that everything has a place, ensuring every essential task or document gets noticed. This includes current tasks to be done, reminders, errands, etc. If you spend a lot of time in transit, you may want to think about a mobile setup that lets you get things done even while commuting. Many people lose opportunities to be productive because they are not equipped to take advantage of the time they waste in transit or whenever they are out of the office.

You’ll see that all of the labels, projects, and due dates added in the steps above help you quickly answer the question “What should I be doing right now? Since we are constantly being bombarded by requests, messages, tasks, invites, errands you need to run, people you need to call, etc, our attention strays with each distraction. The idea is to keep your collection tools close by, so that you can access them wherever you are. With your project lists and tasks sorted, you’re now ready to tackle contexts. In GTD, contexts identify tools, places, or people that you require to complete a given task.

Let’s say you’re in the office and you have an hour of unscheduled time before your performance review. You could cross a few phone calls off your list, write a report, or continue working on an idea for a workshop. Since the workshop will be held in three days and you haven’t prepared yet, you choose this task. The report, on the other hand, is a routine report, and the phone calls can wait a few days. During the Organize step, move items into the appropriate projects in your work management tool.

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