Review and Contemplations on Making It All Work

Jan 05 2009

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It’s funny what disappoints people.

Years ago, David Allen created a productivity system called Getting Things Done, which I’ve talked about quite a lot here on the blog. He recently published a new book, Making It All Work, and the GTD community has gotten excited about what new gems of wisdom it might contain.

There’s nothing new. His original Getting Things Done book is still the foundation, and explains his recommended systems and methods. Making It All Work explains the psychology behind GTD, what he discovered about human nature and his design of the system to flow with the ways human beings actually behave.

And people are disappointed. They want revelations, deep wisdom, fireworks, and drama. I suspect some of them secretly want new systems and formulae. Nope.

Instead, we get an erudite exhortation. Allen’s eminently practical, and Making It All Work shows why humans need a system like GTD. In a way, it’s a proof for GTD, as well as encouragement to implement some kind of lightweight, air-tight system to track your work.

And people are disappointed, because the system has no drama, no big changes. It just works.

Which is why I love it, and why Making It All Work was such a valuable read for me last week. I now deeply understand the importance and consequences of an air-tight system. I appreciate how much better life is in general when all one’s work is written down, outside of one’s mind, freeing the mind to concentrate on bigger questions.

Doesn’t that sound good?

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