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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Getting Things Done

I've had some serious issues with getting things done. OTOH, I'm into writing things down. E.g., I've been using something like The Hipster PDA for over 10 years (in the form of a memo fact, just bought a new one this morning--which highlights the weakness of my system: I have to start in a new one when the one I've been using gets filled up.)

But from hanging around and other sort of geek/tech sites, I've become aware of a GTD cult. Some of it appears to be centered around the "the groundbreaking work-life management sytem and book by David Allen that transforms personal overwhelm and overload into an integrated system of stress-free productivity." That's from his website--and of course there is a book: "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity".

But there's an entire cottage industry of geek/techie people infatuated with productivity tools.

One that I just started using an hour ago is the GTDTiddlyWiki. A TiddlyWiki template designed to help you GTD. I'm going to try to actually stick to this one and use it.

I saved that link to my repository, and discovered I'd tagged one other page I'd saved with "gettingthingsdone": a WiredNews article titled "A Guide to Getting Things Done", which begins:

If you thought your time-management skills were up to scratch, think again. David Allen's personal-productivity guidebook Getting Things Done has become a call to arms for webheads who want to accomplish more tasks in less time.

But who is the author followers call "the guru," and what do you need to join his merry band? Here are a few pointers to get you started.

What is Getting Things Done and what's the big idea?

Depending on your politics, Getting Things Done is either a how-to for drones to perform harder and faster, or the book that will help you wipe out anxiety through streamlining your approach to work. According to the back cover, "our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax; only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve results and unleash our creative potential."

My politics tend to lead me towards the prior--all these productivity tools and systems are just a way for the system to squeeze more productivity out of us. Sort of a quasi-Marxian, homo economicus view of society, I would guess (not really knowing anything about those topics).

More on this later. In particular, I'll report if I actually succeed in GTD using a GTDTiddlyWiki.

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