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Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done Paperback – Dec 28 2004


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Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done + Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity + Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and the Business of Life
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 edition (Dec 28 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143034545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143034544
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #91,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

This fundamentally different look at productivity makes David's book not just a good read, but something to truly live by Keith Tamashita, author of UNSTUCK: A Tool for Yourself, Your Team and Your World Noone makes the challenges of productivity more understandale and manageable Rob Johnston, President of Leader to Leader Institute These powerful and practical pointers for living a more productive life are as subtle and rich as they are simple Arianna Huffington David Allen's productivity principles are rooted in big ideas ... But they're also eminently practical Keith H. Hammonds, Fast Company --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

David Allen is president of The David Allen Company and has more than twenty years experience as a consultant and executive coach for such organizations as Microsoft, the Ford Foundation, L.L.Bean, and the World Bank. His work has been featured in Fast Company, Fortune, Atlantic Monthly, O, and many other publications.

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First Sentence
Completion of open loops, whether they be major projects or boxes of old stuff we've yet to purge and organize, prepares the ground for cleaner, clearer, and more complete energy for whatever shows up. Read the first page
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By peederj on Jan. 4 2004
Format: Hardcover
While this is an outstanding book, I highly recommend his first work, Getting Things Done. Since this doesn't have a consistent narrative but is instead broken up into numerous tiny essays, it will be harder to get the maximum benefit from his approach to personal productivity from this alone.
Readers who "got" Getting Things Done don't need my advice on this one...they've already bought it I'm sure.
David Allen is probably the smartest personal productivity coach in print. I would buy Getting Things Done for every employee in my organization, and I would have copies of this one lying around to remind people and elaborate on some of the finer points.
Oh and I would like to add one point. I believe there is one thing missing from Mr. Allen's algorithm. That is finishing. I think his plan is outstanding for getting unstuck: figure out the next action, and do it without hesitation. But I don't find any attention paid to how to decide how many actions are "enough" for a desired outcome of a project.
You can always find some next action, and founder in what software engineers like myself call "permanent beta" or "feature creep." Yet external constraints are best not relied on exclusively for these decisions. It's best to volunteer a ruthless focus on the essence of your project's deliverable, isn't it?
So I would like Mr. Allen to write his next book about finishing projects, if he is able to develop insights into that stage as strong as his insights into the process of the middle stages.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bruce C. Houghton on Sept. 15 2003
Format: Hardcover
Let me start by admitting that while I'm a huge fan of David Allen and his wonderful productivity theories and practices, I found his first book "Getting Things Done" a rather tough read. A lot of great info was certainly there, but somehow the way it was written left my head spinning. Eventually I began to understand the systems and implement them, but I couldn't get over the nagging feeling that these theories and practices that were so basic and logical did not have to be so hard to grasp.
All of these shortcomings have been fixed in this great new book. Allen's theories, practices and strategies are delivered in 2-5 page bite sized pieces which much better suit his writing style. Each of the 52 short chapters can be devoured in a few minutes and can be understood and internalized individually or in well organized clusters as fits you best.
In a perfect world I'd suggest skimming Allen's first book so that you get an over view of his "systems"; then read this book for a bunch of "I get it!" moments; and then back to "Getting Things Done" for a more careful read. In fact, that's what I'm going to do.
But even if you never read Allen's first book; this new one is well worth the time because it will force you to look at work, time, and all of the stuff that clutters your mind and life in entirely new ways.
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Format: Hardcover
Author David Allen lists 52 basic principles for productivity, including: write everything down, do the jobs that nag you, focus on the matter at hand and so on. As he notes, the principles are both simple to understand and difficult to implement. The book is essentially a collection of gleanings from the author's previous writings, so it does not present a systematic or unified approach to time and productivity management. However, Allen's straightforward tips are handy, if sometimes duplicative. The number 52 suggests that you might find one helpful tip to use each week in a one-year program of self-improvement and productivity management. In that case, repetition is probably a good thing, since bad habits tend to spring up again like weeds and require the same remedies often. The author is relentlessly upbeat, optimistic and witty, like a motivational speaker. That might be hard to read in a big chunk, but it is easy to digest if you spend a little time every week reading a recommendation and implementing it. We recommend this book to anyone who urgently needs help with time management and productivity.
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Format: Hardcover
Mr. Allen's system is surprisingly simple - the realisation that we are monkeys; that keeping to do lists in our heads causes stress; get the list on paper and the stress goes away; we can do simple physical actions with ease. Use a paper filing system; the instruction to ask of each item in our In-tray 'what is the next physical action;' the instruction to deal with each item right now if it will take less than two minutes.
If Mr. Allen had merely described his system 1) you wouldn't believe it and 2) worse, you wouldn't 'just do it.' And JUST DOING IT does work, amazingly enough.
'Buy a label maker' - a surprisingly important part of Allen's system. That sounds nuts! Does he have shares in a label making company? Unlikely. Then Why? Remember the monkey approach. Simple physical tasks. Create files. Label them. Don't think. Do it. And then you look at the result. You have created it. You have invested in the system. You are that monkey.
And it works! A simple system that works!
As the Scots say, Mr. Allen is a very canny fellow.
I believe that Mr. Allen wrote his book so deliberately. He makes you invest in reading the book as he makes you invest in his system when you sit there printing labels for manila files.
It may be nuts but it is a very clever kind of nuts ;-).
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