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Get Everything Done

I've noticed of late that David Allen's book Getting Things Done seems to be popular among software types. I have that book and it's good, if a bit complicated for me - I'm inclined to think if you had the discipline to follow David Allen's system, you're already halfway there. Still the idea of deferring anything you can't action inside a couple of minutes seems to work.

My favourite book of this kind by far is Mark Forster's Get Everything Done. There isn't a system as such, more of a collection of techniques that are to be performed frequently. What holds the book together is the insight into the mindset of ineffectiveness and procrastination - Forster is quick to point out that he is naturally disorganized person. There are great (and seemingly hard-won) overviews of the problems with some techniques such as todo lists or prioritizing tasks. The burst technique of short (5, 10, 15 minute) task iterations is extremely clever - if you're a programmer and are comfortable with agile or test-driven approaches, you'll like it. The sections on dealing with procrastination, interruptions, and those floating items that don't seem to fit anywhere are great. And the book is short, less than 200 pages of crystal clear writing. So while it's a different take to time management that some might find too unusual, on the upside you'll know inside an hour whether it's for you.

January 31, 2005 07:39 PM


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