Personal Productivity, An introduction to the GTD method by George Vrakas
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Personal Productivity, An introduction to the GTD method by George Vrakas



This presentation provides a quick snapshot of some of the different methodologies for Personal Productivity and especially the Getting Things Done Method by David Allen. ...

This presentation provides a quick snapshot of some of the different methodologies for Personal Productivity and especially the Getting Things Done Method by David Allen.

The challenge it targets is that by the end of it you would have the tools to increase your productivity by at least 10%.



Total Views
Views on SlideShare
Embed Views



5 Embeds 342 326 9 5 1 1



Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
Post Comment
Edit your comment
  • @print out the presentation so they can take notes <br /> @ get pieces of paper and pen with me for name tags. <br /> @pen and laser <br /> @Print out the registration papers. <br /> LAPTOP- set up <br /> <br /> Welcome everyone to the Personal Productivity Tuckerbox! <br /> For those that don’t know me my name is George Vrakas. <br /> [If few]: can I ask that you write your names on this piece of paper. <br /> Hand out the slides <br /> So that we can get to know each other can everyone just state their name and where they work. <br />
  • <br /> Let’s start by doing something. <br /> I am sure you have great ideas and you care about personal productivity. <br /> <br /> How many of you believe that you have one tip that would like to share the personal productivity <br /> <br /> Can you in 30 seconds think and right down one productivity tip you would want to share with the rest of us. <br /> <br /> We will share this at the end of the presentation!!!! <br />
  • If I am talking too quick stop me <br /> Ask questions if there is something to be clarified. <br /> I am not a guru <br /> Share information and learn from each other! <br /> <br /> Draw the knowledge from you so we all benefit, Aim by the end of the session! <br /> We will do that by"......... (next slide)
  • What does this mean? <br /> <br /> DOES SOMEONE ABSOLUTELY NEEDS TO GO AT 13:15 or is the time flexible? <br /> <br /> What is ACTION MANAGEMENT? <br />
  • What does this mean? <br /> <br /> Who here thinks that has such a system? <br /> <br /> (Great, how happy are you with your system? Will you help me run through this presentation by sharing some of your experiences?) <br /> <br /> By creating a new action management plan, you will feel more in control, and it will drastically reduce your stress in the workplace. <br /> <br /> <br />  PRODUCTIVITY VERSUS BUSYNESS <br /> <br /> First, let’s figure out exactly what we mean by “productive.” Too often, productivity gets conflated with simply being busy. But that’s only part of the story. <br /> <br /> True productivity means not only getting work done; it means getting the right work done most efficiently. We may labor all day through a series of tasks, but have we completed high-impact work (i.e., has our effort produced results or merely shuffled the paperwork)? <br /> <br /> Highly productive individuals can focus on results-driven work because they’ve distinguished productivity from “busy-ness.” Often the first step in smart productivity is eliminating the “task-noise” that drains time and resources. Think of it this way: The person who answers 100 emails in three hours may be busy, but the person who takes 20 minutes to create an auto-responder or a filter that reduces email volume permanently, has been productive. <br /> <br /> So how do you transform busy-ness into productivity? <br /> Embrace Simplicity – system, know what you are after!! Train and empower yourself to make more decisions. <br /> 2. Manage Distractions (Focus management) <br /> 3. Bend Activities around Inspiration – leave space for innovation and thinking outside the box. <br /> 4. Seize Small Blocks of Time – cut down your projects in smaller tasks that are easily done. <br /> 5. Make Lists and Set Goal Paths <br /> 6. Multitask…Clarify what this means? <br />   <br />  
  • Operational management method – This is the overall vision of what you are trying to gain. It is finding a method to carefully manage processes to produce and distribute products and services. <br /> <br /> To maintain the Operational Management Method, three critical elements must be in place: <br /> <br /> ·        Visibility <br /> ·        A review system <br /> ·        A policy for handling significant personnel changes <br /> <br /> <br /> b) Finding a system that works for you and which puts your management method into action. (We will go into different systems on the next slide.) <br /> <br /> c) You need to understand and know fully the system you are using, why you are using it and how it is going to benefit you. Not knowing these things will not gain you anything, and the system you are using will be pointless.
  • There are many different systems and bodies of work. <br /> We will focus on one but resources for the rest exist at the end of the presentation should you choose to get a copy and so, you are welcome to explore the rest and choose the one that suits for you. <br /> <br /> ABC (The process of setting short term priorities) <br /> Remember that you make your action choices based on the following four criteria: <br /> Context <br /> Time available <br /> Energy available <br /> Priority <br /> <br /> A= URGENT AND SERIOUS <br /> B=URGENT BUT NOT AS SERIOUS <br /> C=NEED TO DO BUT NOT URGENT NOR SERIOUS <br /> D=“Delegate” <br /> E=“Eliminate” – Delete <br /> <br /> <br /> 43 Folders <br /> <br /> ZTD – A system to get organised and get productive: <br /> <br /> GTD – The idea that a person needs to move tasks out of their mind and record them externally somewhere.
  • True story: <br /> At the end of an interview with Albert Einstein the reporter asked: <br /> “Mr. Einstein, would it be possible to take your phone number in case I have any further questions?” <br /> “Certainly” replied Einstein. He picked up the phone directory and looked up his phone number, then wrote it on a slip of paper and handed it to the reporter. <br /> Dumbfounded, the reporter said… <br /> “You are considered to be the smartest man in the world and you can’t remember your own phone number?” <br /> Einstein replied, <br /> “Why should I memorize something when I know where to find it?” <br /> Aren’t we talking about the smartest man in the world of his time? And he can’t remember his OWN phone number? <br /> But look – it gets ‘worse’. <br /> Here’s a picture of Einstein’s gawd-awful messy looking desk… Einstein’s desk… <br /> Would you even hazard a guess at where the phone book is amongst all that clutter! <br /> <br /> @Ambrose Maslow – There are two types of wisdom – knowing everything and knowing where to find everything!!! <br /> <br /> <br />
  • FEEDBACK : Who knows David Allen and his system? How is it working for you? <br /> <br /> It’s all about the capture and the next action Problem: too many “open loops” in their lives. <br /> Open loops are basically all of the things that we have committed ourselves to do but haven’t kept track of them. <br /> Stress is induced when we have too many open loops at once and don’t have them captured into a system that we can trust they are in. Our minds start racing and it’s all down hill from there. Capturing allows the GTD practitioner to close the open loops in their life by writing them down and keeping them out of their mind. Capturing allows oneself to relieve the stress of all of the things they have kept in their mind for so long. Capturing is the key to keeping yourself sane. Identifying the next action of any project is another secret of GTD. Seeing what the absolute next physical action is allows us to take the first step in completing a project of any size. The issue with many projects that are stalled or not yet completed is that they haven’t been thought through and the next physical action to get the project moving hasn’t been identified. When I started to identify the next physical action I was surprised to see how quickly I could get a “stuck” project moving, no matter how little the next action really was. Things like, “call Bob to get the name of number of his accountant” is enough to spark a large project like “Form your LLC”. Capturing and next actions are the secrets to why GTD is the best productivity system.
  • @@@@@@@@@@@Understanding the Diagram of Action <br /> Tasks are other defined or undefined (planned for or new). <br /> <br /> Getting to Know Your Daily Graph of Activity <br /> <br /> Here’s what I personally do. <br /> <br /> Each day I start with my Calendar. Because I know that the most important tasks for a given day are right there. Tasks that can’t be overlooked. I advise you to do the same and start your day by checking out your Calendar as well. <br /> When I’m done with the Calendar I take my Next Tasks List, pick one task and start executing it. Then I pick another task, then another and so on. <br /> Additionally, once a week I do a bigger review and have a look at all my lists: Projects List, Future/Maybe List, Waiting for List, and I make sure that my priorities are still the same and that I still want to execute all those things that are there. I also plan my next week and update everything so it’s perfectly in tune with my current goals and matters. This is also the time for creating new projects and deleting old ones — you know, cleaning stuff up. <br /> And that’s it. This whole methodology comes down to these simple activities: <br /> Take care of your Calendar. <br /> Take care of your Next Tasks List. <br /> Review everything. <br /> Repeat. <br /> And that is why GTD is so effective in a real-life environment. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> There’s a thing called things on top of the graph. Things are everything that crosses your path during the day – everything your life hits you with (the undefined tasks). Getting an email is a thing. Coming up with a new idea for something is a thing. Receiving a phone call is a thing. Getting a direct order from your boss is also a thing. In a sentence – everything that requires any kind of reaction on your part is a thing. <br /> So the things go into your inbox. The inbox doesn’t have to be an actual inbox, like an email inbox or a traditional mailbox in your front yard. This is simply a place where all the incoming things land. <br /> You can create a folder on your computer’s desktop, for example. Or write everything down on sticky notes and stick them to your computer’s screen. Or have a special container next to your desk. The choice is truly up to you. Whatever makes the most sense to you can be used as an inbox. <br /> <br /> So everything lands there and waits until some further action on your part. What you do is pick something up from the inbox and answer the first question: What is it? Do I have to (or want to) do anything about it? <br /> If the answer is no then you have four main options you can do next. <br /> Trashing the thing. Pretty self-explanatory. <br /> Putting it in your Future/Maybe List. If you think you might want to work with this thing in the future. <br /> Scheduling it in your Calendar. If you need to take action on it on an exact date and time (remember, your Calendar is sacred). <br /> Putting it in your Reference Files. If it’s just some piece of information you want to keep, but it’s not actionable in any way. <br /> <br /> If the answer is yes then a second question arises: Is it the next possible action? <br /> The undefined things you’re hit with during the day can be constructed very differently. They can be simple one-action activities (like an email saying, “Take out the trash”, or they might as well start massive projects (like, “Start the marketing campaign for ANL”). So the question above is where you decide if it’s the former or the latter. <br /> <br /> If it indeed is something that sounds like a new project then you need to put it in your Projects List, and then do some planning around it to come up with a list of possible tasks for it (I’ll cover this more in the next post in the series). <br /> However, if it is just a simple one-action activity/task then you should consider taking care of it immediately. Hence the third question on the graph: Can I do it in less than 2 minutes? <br /> Why the 2 minute restriction? Because if you were to take care of every one-action task someone sends you right at the spot you wouldn’t be able to do anything else in a day. GTD simply protects you against a situation when incoming tasks are sabotaging your way of working. <br /> So, if you can indeed do it in less than 2 minutes then simply do it. An example of such a task is one I gave you a couple of paragraphs above – someone telling you to take out the trash. <br /> Unfortunately, most undefined tasks cannot be done in less than 2 minutes. That’s just life. <br /> There are two choices for you in such a case. You can either delegate them, or defer them. <br /> Delegating something means to simply send it to someone else. Your assistant, your contractor, or whoever else you have to spare or find the thing to be a suitable task for. Once you send the task to them, simply put it in your “Waiting for” List so you don’t forget to get back to that person and ask about their progress. <br /> Deferring something means placing it in one of two possible places: either your Calendar or your Next Tasks List. <br /> Put it in your Calendar if it absolutely needs to be done on a specific date, otherwise put it in your Next Tasks List so you can get back to it when you decide to work on your defined tasks. <br /> That’s all there is to the graph. Following it honestly lets you handle every undefined task very effectively. <br /> Undefined tasks are the ones that can completely ruin your perfectly planned out day; GTD can help you to prevent such a situation. <br /> Now what? <br /> We know what to do with our defined tasks (simply do them when you have some time) and we also know what to do with our undefined tasks (define them as explained above). But there’s one more quick thing I want to share with you today. And that is how to review your work each day/week, and actually be aware of what’s going on.
  • Very briefly this is a way to organise the different areas of your life. These are called altitudes: <br /> <br /> The different altitudes show different levels of importance. <br /> <br /> E.g. 20,000 ft represent day-to-day tasks that we all need to work through. <br /> <br /> 30,000 ft represent weekly goals that we want to work towards completing. <br /> <br /> 40,000/50,000 – life goals.
  • <br /> Daily Review Tasks list: - Check voicemail <br /> - Check calendar for today’s meetings, tasks etc... <br /> - Check emails for any new tasks given. <br /> <br /> <br /> Inbox maintenance: - Keep inbox empty, by checking 2-3 times daily and sorting through what you need/don’t need. And use email folders appropriately. <br /> <br /> <br /> Select Daily the most important two three things to be done and set time to complete. <br /> <br /> <br /> Friday – Select most important large task for the following week and assign a start/end date and make time to complete. <br /> <br /> A <br /> <br /> The average corporate employee gets 100 e-mails a day. So, with the new e-mail alert turned on, that’s 400 seconds of lost time.  We work about 240 days a year on average.  The aggregate effect is 24 hours of activity with no productivity. That’s three working days.  Imagine what it would feel like to have three days of work off your desk right now! <br />   <br /> B <br /> How to Stop Fiddling With Productivity Tools To Get More Done <br /> If you don’t know which tools to start with pick some from this list to check out. Don’t get too obsessive, kids: OmniFocus Toodledo Remember The Milk Evernote Google Docs OneNote plain text files SimpleNote Gmail Refine your system to make your tools work for you. Not the other way around. Paraphrased from Mr. Einstein: <br /> “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.”

Personal Productivity, An introduction to the GTD method by George Vrakas Personal Productivity, An introduction to the GTD method by George Vrakas Presentation Transcript

  • Action Management Methodologies, Systems and Thoughts An introduction to the Getting Things Done Method (GTD) 1 by George Vrakas 2014 PersonalProductivity:
  •  Think and discuss Personal Productivity / Action Management  Introduction to different Productivity systems  Learn some useful techniques  Focus on increasing effectiveness while removing stress CHALLENGE  By the end of the presentation increase your productivity by 10% (at least) 2 AGENDA
  •  Areas of Action Management  Systems of Action Management  Einstein’s Secret to organisation  GTD System  Quick Tips 3 SUMMARY OF CONTENT
  •  CAVEAT “All models are wrong, but some are useful” ...George Box From his work Robustness in the Strategy of Scientific Model Building (May 1979) in Robustness in Statistics: Proceedings of a Workshop (1979) edited by RL Launer and GN Wilkinson) 4
  • Action Management is the process of creating a system in your life that helps you stay on top of your tasks / projects / aims and maintain an excellent work effort. 5
  • ◦ a) An Operational Management Method – WHY? ◦ b) A System – HOW? ◦ c) A Directory of Knowledge – WHAT? The 3 Areas of Action Management: 6
  • There are a number of systems that can be used to plan out and organise your tasks. Methods: - ABC - 43 Folders - ZTD(Zen to Done) - GTD (Getting Things Done) A System 7
  • 8 Einstein’s Ultimate Secret With Efficiency – Your focus is on getting things done… not keeping things tidy. SUCCESS, in short, is a matter of quickly finding and quickly doing ‘the one best way’. And that is what efficiency allows – regardless of being ‘organised’ or not. Think about it… Why should we go to any extra effort to accomplish something when there is an easier way. There are two kinds of wisdom: 1) Knowing everything 2) Knowing where to find everything
  • The 2 Secrets of this system  Capture your thoughts  Focus on the Next Action 9 Recommendation: Getting Things Done (David Allen)
  • 10 GTD Workflow Diagram
  • 11 GTD Altitude Mind Map
  • Quick Action Management Tips 12 Daily review tasks list (use a standardised list for repetitive tasks) Inbox maintenance (NIL emails in Inbox, use email filters) Choose the most important tasks for the day and DO them first! Turn off the pop-up outlook alerts (see how to on last slide)! - By removing this disruption you become 10% more productive! On Fridays, select the most important task for the following week and Do it! Work on building trust with your colleagues and stakeholders (read the book or watch this video of The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey). Explore Effective email communication techniques (avoid repeat emails) – if things get too complicated, pick up the phone!! More tips here
  • How to turn off email notifications in Outlook 2007  In the menu, click on Tools, then Options.  On the preferences tab, in the E-mail section, click on the “E-mail Options…” button  Click on the “Advanced E-mail Options…” button  Look for the “When new items arrive in my Inbox” area…  Un-tick all the notifications you want to receive.  Note that there are four notifications that Outlook can give you when you receive an email in your Inbox  From the Advanced E-mail Options window, you can control each of these as you wish. Now you won’t get distracted by email when you want to be productive. 13 Turn off pop-up alerts in Outlook