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Getting Things Done: The Art Of Stress-Free Productivity [Audiobook, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

David Allen
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 8 2008
THE NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER NOW AVAILABLE IN AN ALL-NEW UNABRIDGED RECORDING!

In today's world of exponentially increased communication and responsibility, yesterday's methods for staying on top just don't work.

Veteran management consultant and trainer David Allen recognizes that "time management" is useless the minute your schedule is interrupted; "setting priorities" isn't relevant when your e-mail is down; "procrastination solutions" won't help if your goals aren't clear.

Allen's premise is simple: our ability to be productive is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve stress-free productivity and unleash our creative potential. He teaches us how to:

• Apply the "do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it" rule to get your in-box empty
• Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations
• Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed
• Feel fine about what you're not doing

From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done has the potential to transform the way you work -- and the way you experience work. At any level of implementation, David Allen's entertaining and thought-provoking advice shows you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.

Frequently Bought Together

Getting Things Done: The Art Of Stress-Free Productivity + The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change + The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness
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Product Description

From Amazon

With first-chapter allusions to martial arts, "flow", "mind like water", and other concepts borrowed from the East (and usually mangled), you'd almost think this self-helper from David Allen should have been called Zen and the Art of Schedule Maintenance.

Not quite. Yes, Getting Things Done offers a complete system for downloading all those free-floating gotta-dos clogging your brain into a sophisticated framework of files and action lists--all purportedly to free your mind to focus on whatever you're working on. However, it still operates from the decidedly Western notion that if we could just get really, really organised, we could turn ourselves into 24/7 productivity machines. (To wit, Allen, whom the New Economy bible Fast Company has dubbed "the personal productivity guru", suggests that instead of meditating on crouching tigers and hidden dragons while you wait for a plane, you should unsheathe that high-tech sabre known as the mobile phone and attack that list of calls you need to return.)

As whole-life-organising systems go, Allen's is pretty good, even fun and therapeutic. It starts with the exhortation to take every unaccounted-for scrap of paper in your workstation that you can't junk. The next step is to write down every unaccounted-for gotta-do cramming your head onto its own scrap of paper. Finally, throw the whole stew into a giant "in-basket".

That's where the processing and prioritising begin; in Allen's system, it get a little convoluted at times, rife as it is with fancy terms, subterms, and sub-subterms for even the simplest concepts. Thank goodness the spine of his system is captured on a straightforward, one-page flowchart that you can pin over your desk and repeatedly consult without having to refer back to the book. That alone is worth the purchase price. Also of value is Allen's ingenious Two-Minute Rule: if there's anything you absolutely must do that you can do right now in two minutes or less, then do it now, thus freeing up your time and mind tenfold over the long term. It's common sense advice so obvious that most of us completely overlook it, much to our detriment. Allen excels at dispensing such wisdom in this useful, if somewhat belaboured, self-improver aimed at everyone from CEOs to football mums (who, we all know, are more organised than most CEOs to start with). --Timothy Murphy --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Allen, a management consultant and executive coach, provides insights into attaining maximum efficiency and at the same time relaxing whenever one needs or wants to. Readers learn that there is no single means for perfecting organizational efficiency or productivity; rather, the author offers tools to focus energies strategically and tactically without letting anything fall through the cracks. He provides tips, techniques, and tricks for implementation of his workflow management plan, which has two basic components: capture all the things that need to get done into a workable, dependable system; and discipline oneself to make front-end decisions with an action plan for all inputs into that system. In short, do it (quickly), delegate it (appropriately), or defer it. While an infomercial for the author's consulting practice, this road map for organizational efficiency may help many who have too much to do in too little time, both professionally and in their personal lives. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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It's possible for a person to have an overwhelming number of things to do and still function productively with a clear head and a positive sense of relaxed control. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It changed my life Feb. 27 2005
Format:Paperback
David Allen is considered to be one the top five Management consultants in North America according to a Forbes article. I now understand why.
The basic concepts in his book are simple enough and are represented by a flow chart, but there are so many other golden nuggets of "best practice" information within this book that you have to study it to get them all. I've read the book and listened to his second (audio) book "Ready for anything" four times in a row just to reinforce the great points within this book.
The result of implimenting his structure of workflow has suprisingly allowed me to act with more freedom and creativity in my job and a reduction in stress. I can even find stuff easily since setting up my folders and buying a label making machine (his recommendation).
He's really on to something big with his "next action" thinking approach (chapter 11) and his two-minute rule.
One of the best books I've read in the last three years.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
By Test
Format:Paperback
Strengths: How to manage the never-ending flow of taskings and redirected taskings for those who work in unorganized cultures. Fairly simple. Can be implemented without fancy tools.
Weaknesses: Still essentially prioritizing emergencies. You may believe that if your in-box is empty you were effective today.
To balance the weaknesses, read Steven Covey's "7-Habits of Highly Effective People", and the book on Habit 3, "First Things First". The older, pre-Franklin-Covey merger book is better than the current offering.
The weakness of the Allen book is that it does not force you to think about your roles and goals, leaving you in the trap of the urgent, being unconsciously unbalanced and never asking the question: How can I prevent these issues, how can I keep the main thing the main thing, and what about the long-term?
The Covey offerings are a little weak (only a little) in handling the myriad and changing tasks that disorganized managers and organizations throw at you. Covey assumes you have a fair about of autonomy in your work life, that you are responsible for results, not for performing tasks.
Bottom line: Read (in this order): "7-Habits", "First Things First", and then Allen. In a hurry? Read First Things First, then the others in the order indicated.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Baycity
Format:Hardcover
Too many books on getting organized tend to be, well, unorganized. Or worse, impractical. They take digressions through academic theories or offer advice which simply won't work in the real world.
Not so with David Allen's "Getting Things Done." He offers clear, concise insights on action-oriented steps anyone can implement to make their worklife more productive and stress free. (He recommends the same approach for dealing with your personal life, and while they may work in this context, I'm not sure how many folks really want to run my family like a business).
Yes, a lot of Allen's advice is simple common sense and he tends to offer lists which simply added pages instead of help. Nonetheless, he presents obvious insights in useful context by showing how they've worked with his clients and it's simple to skip the unnecessary lists. The key is (and this is why I awarded five stars instead of four) Allen's advice is aimed at folks who live in the real world. You can actually implement what he talks about and see results.
While the book may not change your life, it will certainly help you keep it organized and focused. "Getting Things Done" is an ideal gift for the colleague who is more of a "big picture"-type than a detail person.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Oct. 6 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
If you're feeling overwhelmed or anxious at work and in general, this book will help you clarify your purpose, and help you help yourself figure out what needs doing next. Very good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, great suggestions and methods. June 10 2013
By DC
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Really helped get me organized. I love David Allen's advice. I try to follow these methods in many aspects of my life.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrated Feb. 24 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The Amazon.com review said it well: convoluted, lots of fancy terms, subterms and sub-subterms for the simplest concepts. I find myself spending a lot of time figuring out what he's trying to say. The first three chapters are all theory, added perhaps to make the book respectably sized... much time is spent "telling us what he's going to tell us." I also find it difficult to take a couple of days (or more)to collect all the "to-do" actions in my life; a lot of bosses may have a problem with that, too.
I'm still working with it, though, trying to see if I can get to the system that all these people are raving about.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff June 1 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good information to know. This is a very handy way to move from procrastination to productivity. This is a good starting point for anyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book lives up to its reputation May 5 2013
By Jon
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
You won't regret reading this book. It may be geared toward executive types but the principles apply to everything in life, and to everyone who wants to make better use of their time and life
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Success
The content is very interesting! For all ages, it's the key to success! Plenty of good examples. i recommend it to everyone!
Published 7 months ago by Sandy G. Roberge
5.0 out of 5 stars Fundamental to my success
Following the direction within this book allowed me to overcome procrastination, become proactive, and not feel harried every day. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Altadel
2.0 out of 5 stars Honest Review
This book is not easy too understand.
I kinda like the idea of 4D in mailbox management but other than that this book doesn't offer much useful stuff. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Honest Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Oops, this is the one I actually read first
Haven't read the shorter summary above, yet, but given how clear and sensible the first full-length book is, I expect it will be helpful as well, and have already passed a copy on... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Susan McMaster
5.0 out of 5 stars in time
received in time
perfect packaged
correct price.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
Published 13 months ago by PB
5.0 out of 5 stars Great help.
This book is really helping me move forward with my organizational system. I am using his tips in combo with the OmniFocus app for ipod. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Rhea Darch
4.0 out of 5 stars Mind Like Water
"Mind like water." Yeah, that's what I'm going for. I've never been organized in all aspects of my life and David Allen's process of Getting Things Done has put me on that path. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mitchell Rhodes
5.0 out of 5 stars His book and system are not for the impatient or faint of heart.
Loved the book and the concept but, it ain't a quick fix; his system takes a while to implement and this book requires at least two read-throughs to get the basics down...
Published on Dec 29 2011 by M. Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting things done
Very good product.I was not expecting such a good quality.
The CDs Delivery has been done on time.
Getting Things Done: The Art Of Stress-Free Productivity
Published on Nov. 28 2011 by Khadija
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