Meereffect is de Master License Partner van de David Allen Company in de Benelux. GTD en Getting Things Done zijn geregistreerde merken van de David Allen Company.
Meereffect is de Master License Partner van Streamline Certified.
We explain the five steps of GTD and the Horizons of Focus in both video and text, so that you can choose the one you prefer.
Capture everything that gets your attention
There are lots of things you want to do. If you try to remember them all, it’s not going to work out well. After all, you’ve got to remember to call someone at 11 am … But the drawback of keeping this in your head is not only that you won’t remember it at 11 am. The risk is that you will think about it too often at the wrong times. In a nutshell, try not to manage all your tasks from your head.
In this short video, David Allen explains what you need to do to get everything you have to do, want to do, or can do out of your head. Capture it systematically! Read what this involves and how to do it on this page.
You promise a colleague that you’ll look something up and you write the task down in your notebook. You also jot down a still hazy idea you have for streamlining the onboarding process. You don’t try to remember what you want to do. You write it down immediately instead.
What we mean by capturing is recording everything you might want to do something with. Capturing means saving ideas you have, actions you might want to take, or commitments that others make to you, together in a place that works for you, like a notebook or the To-Do section of Outlook.
Once you have captured all your actions and commitments, you no longer need to rely on your head to remember them. That way, your head no longer reminds you what to do at inopportune moments. You can just do what you’re doing. Without distractions.
Practical tips for Capturing
As well as this active capturing – writing down what crosses your mind – there are also many places where other people bring things to your attention. Like your phone, text messages, email, Teams, social media DMs. These places are buckets filled with all sorts of inputs that require your attention. For many knowledge workers the number of buckets and the content they contain has risen considerably in recent years. Streamlining these places is also part of the first GTD step: Capture.
Make sure that you go through what you have captured and what other people have added to your inboxes regularly. Empty your collection tools on a consistent basis or make a habit of doing it at the end of your working day. How do you process these collection tools? Read about it in step 2: Clarify.
What does this mean?
In this short video, David Allen explains what you need to do to clarify everything you have collected. You can read more about what that means and how you can do it on the page below.
The benefit of capturing is that you get to have all your ideas and all your messages from other people in one place. You capture things in your notebook and various inboxes so that you don’t have to take direct action on every idea immediately. You need to process these collection tools on a regular basis. And you also need to decide how often you process each inbox.
Everything you’ve captured caught your attention for some reason or other. To clarify, you need to decide whether you are going to do something with what you’ve captured or not. Perhaps you spotted a nice Spanish course, and you jotted down the website. Upon reflection, you decide that you’ve already got enough on your plate with your current workload, and you decide to put the course off for a year. Thus, you can decide not to do anything with something you’ve captured.
Practical tips for Clarifying
But where do you store all these decisions? What does it mean to keep as a reference and where do you record your Desired Outcomes, for example? You need to write them down or type them up so that you can return to them when the time is right. That’s what we call Organising.
Everything in the right place
In this short video, David Allen explains what you need to do to organise everything upon which you have taken a decision. You can read more about what that means and how you can do it below.
Once you have decided that something is actionable, you must record it somewhere so that you can remember you want to do it. If you want to save something, you need to keep it as reference. In brief, organising means that you have fixed places for your tasks, commitments, projects and all your other stuff.
Practical tips for Organising
Organising completes the first steps of GTD. Capture everything that has your attention, clarify what this means to you by taking a decision on it, and save this decision in the right place. You no longer need remember anything because everything you want to do is now in the right place. Out of your head and in a place you trust.
How do you manage to keep everything up to date and actually use your lists? What if you’ve got too many tasks? What are your priorities? You need to think about all of this during regular reflection times.
In this short video, David Allen explains what you need to do to keep everything you have organised up to date, and how to set priorities. You can read more about what that means and how you can do it on this page.
If you don’t look at what’s on your list on a regular basis, then you find yourself reacting too quickly to the latest and loudest, just as David Allen says in this video. By looking at and deciding which tasks you want to do at the start of each day, you avoid just reacting to whatever comes your way.
Practical tips for Reflecting
Now that your lists are complete and up-to-date, you are ready to start work, or what we call Engaging. Or in other words, step 5.
The final step
In this short video, David Allen explains what happens in the ‘Engage’ step. What do you need in order to give your full attention to whatever it is that you’re doing?
You can’t choose something from your Next Action list if you can’t trust it. This demonstrates once more the importance of Reflecting in step 4. Work with current, complete lists, to ensure you have a complete overview of your obligations.
Choosing from an up-to-date list means that you are also aware of what you are not choosing to do. You can only feel good about what you are not doing when you know what you are not doing.
There are two steps to choosing a task. Firstly, ask yourself what can I do in the here and now? Secondly, from all the things you can do, what is the most important? There are often limitations to what you can do. Sometimes you can’t make calls, or you might not have enough time to complete a long task. That limits your choice. From what you can do, choose the task that adds the most value.
Practical tips for Engaging
In this video, David Allen tells us about the Horizons of Focus. We’re adding this dimension to the five steps, so that as well as control, you’ll also have perspective on your work and life obligations.
These are the Horizons of Focus:
Each level of your Horizons of Focus requires a different way of thinking and reflecting. In an ideal world they’d be aligned and would reinforce one another.
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