Monday, April 10, 2006

Finishing the Diss & GTD

Finishing the Diss. & GTD

We all have our ways of coping with academic stress. Obviously, this blog is one of my mechanisms. However, I was happy when a fellow colleague, Emily, told me she shared another of my coping mechanisms: Getting-Things-Done. GTD (as this is often known) is not much of a secret to bloggers and techies. But I think it is just now catching on among academics.

Before I get into this too much I want to offer one disclaimer: I often say that all things should be pursued in moderation and GTD fits this well. The GTD approach to getting organized and finishing projects is best used (I think) as a source for other ideas that you can incorporate into whatever personal system you already have working for you.

What is GTD?

Getting Things Done, is the title of a book by David Allen. It suggests a methodology for organizing one’s life and managing projects (reasons this may appeal to at least some academics). I have actually never read the book. But there is a lot of information about this approach on the internet. The following websites are good places to get an overview:

  1. David Allen’s Workflow Diagram

  2. Building a Smarter To-Do List, Part 1: from 43 Folders.

  3. GTD Introduction: from PigPog

  4. “Getting Things Done”: from Tutt Library

  5. Notes from Getting Things Done: from MineZone

How do Academics Use GTD?

I mostly use David Allen’s system for categorizing and organizing my tasks, and to remind me that if something only takes a couple minutes to accomplish there is no good reason to put off doing it. However, I am really just being superficial about it if that is all I say. As the above websites will show, a lot of thought has been put into this system. Academics may be interested in the following websites:

Fantastic Websites Where People Keep Thinking of Ways to Be More Efficient

A big part of the GTD community online is a huge community (to which this post barely does justice) focused on finding ways to improve personal efficiency and productivity. They often call such tips and advice lifehacks. For many, this is not about trying to cram more work into a smaller amount of time, but instead about trying to get things done so that you can move on to what you really want to do. Some great websites include:

More GTD Resources:

About Using GTD with your Pocket PC:

Categories: Getting Organized


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