Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and the Business of Life Paperback – Dec 29 2009
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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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GTD, in contrast, is a much more practical system that encompasses every aspect of personal work flow. Unlike my experience with Franklin Covey, it has stuck. It works beautifully.
Over time, I've come to appreciate that successful implementation of GTD is really more about habits of the mind than clever systems for managing lists and files. The concepts in GTD may seem like common sense, but applying that common sense systematically and comprehensively can be a long journey.
"Making it All Work" dives deeper into the subtleties of those mental habits. It has sharpened my GTD implementation, and given me even greater respect for the elegance, simplicity, and power of Allen's system.
The book also goes into much greater detail on the horizons of focus, something that most people don't pay a lot of attention to until they have been working with GTD for a while. I suspect that many GTD "veterans" will find this to be the real value of the book.
GTD is not "hard," as one reviewer wrote. It is actually very simple. Changing mental habits so that one is always asking "is this actionable," "what is the successful outcome," and "what is the next action" takes time and persistence, but it is not very difficult.
If you are new to GTD, put this book on your wish list and order "Getting Things Done" first. Try implementing the system for a few months, paying attention to the elements of the system that seem to come less naturally to you, and THEN order Making it All Work. I don't think that you will regret it.
These horizons include things like "areas of responsibility", "goals & objectives", "vision" and "principles & purpose". After reading and applying the first GTD book you will already have your day-to-day projects and actions under control. The thing is that you need "perspective" to allow yourself to work on the important stuff, rather than getting carried away just doing "busy work".
So, from time to time, you review the things that are important to you on a higher level. This triggers thinking and generates new projects (with associated actions) helping you take steps toward achieving your goals/dreams/etc.
Some negative reviews here may be based on the first half of the book - "Getting Control" - which is definitely just a rehash of the first book. I guess they had to do that for people who have picked it up without having read the first GTD book. Stick with it, the second half more than makes up for it.
If I can offer a suggestion: Install a mind-mapping tool like xmind or freemind (free) and jot down any ideas that pop into your head as you read. By the time I finished this book I had all of my responsibilities, goals, vision, purpose & principles mapped out - it really is a great feeling!
I prefer to call it life making. The principles outlined in this book (and the others) allow you to make your life. Your own life. The life that you choose because you psyche (as David puts it) is free. Free to think, reason, decide and do what ever you want. You can say no because you don't want to do it not because you would have a nervous breakdown if you did.
I recommend this book (and the others) to anyone who wants a better life. If you do what he says, it will help, no matter what, where, or when. It ALL works.
It's a great book, worth reading but only after you've started using the GTD methodology.
I'm left literally thinking that David Allen wrote this book to keep his publishers happy or to keep his consulting firm going, to "stay relevant."
Save your money, in my opinion -- just buy the original Getting Things Done