The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen [TED VIDEO]

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Productivity guru and coach David Allen talks about how to have more mental bandwidth and ability to shift your focus between tasks without worrying about the other tasks at the same time (TEDxClaremontColleges).

Crisis evokes serenity. Crisis makes you concentrate and engage on what’s important at the moment. In crisis you engage. How can you use that to create stress-free productivity in your life?

Are you properly engaged with your projects, your vacation coming up, your family, etc. Or are you thinking about dozens of things at once, not really focusing on any of them?

Results are not about time! Everybody’s got 24 hours. Einstein, Bach, Gates… everyone of them got the same 24 hours. The issue is not time. The issue is focus and flexibility.

Don’t keep anything in your head. Anything and everything that’s meaningful write it down. Write down every single action that consists of more than one step. Write down what is the goal. Why are you doing it? How does done look like? Then decide what is the next step.

You need space to think. If you don’t have psychological bandwidth, 2 additional hours will not help you.

Focus. Ability to shift focus rapidly without being influenced by other areas not relevant at the moment. Don’t take home or work and work to hope. If you are in a mess you don’t have room to be creative. You will lose perspective, control, and you don’t have the freedom in you head to put appropriate focus on things.

Flexibility trumps perfection. Life is change and perfection makes you rigid. Perspective and flexibility combined with control will help you be calm and see what is important and needs to be done. Being flexible means that you can focus on different areas without carrying over the psychological baggage from other tasks.

The Video

Three core principles:

  • Write stuff down, capture your thinking
  • Find outcomes and actions in your thinking
  • Map the outcomes and actions and decide where you want to go

From time to time take new data, re-calibrate and correct course for the next leg of the journey.

Be in the moment, single-task and carve out solid junks of time for important things you need to accomplish.

Be like water. Being flexible means that you have mental bandwidth to cope with anything that life throws at you.

And make sure you do it, now!

The book

Getting-Things-Done-David-AllenGetting Things Done: How to achieve stress-free productivity by David Allen. This is probably one of the most read book on productivity and the stuff he writes about really gets things done faster than messing around in a usual way. I know. I tried.

Book Description: Is your workload overwhelming? Does it just keep mounting up while your stress levels reach fever pitch? In Getting Things Done David Allen teaches you how to keep a clear head, relax and organize your thoughts while implementing the methods that he has introduced at organisations like Microsoft, Lockheed and the US Department of Justice: Learn the ‘do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it’ principle to empty your in-tray. Handle e-mail, paperwork and unexpected demands in a system of self-management. Plan and progress projects. Reassess goals and stay focused. Apply the two minute rule when deciding what to do now and what to defer. Overcome feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed. With clear and specific methods and advice, David Allen’s tried and trusted formula for business efficiency could transform the way you operate and your experience of work.


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