GTD methodology: why it is needed and how it works


The method of improving personal efficiency GTD was created by the American business consultant David Allen. The abbreviation is deciphered as “Getting Things Done”, which in Russian means “completion of started affairs”.

The GTD methodology helps to plan things, but also to prove them finally. The system allows you to systematize data, see the stages of achieving the intended goals and finish the started projects. With the help of this technology, a person of any profession, regardless of the complexity of the tasks, will be able to do more.

In this article, we will look at the principles of GTD and talk about programs that are suitable for GTD planning.

How the GTD methodology works

The basic principles of the Getting Things Done system include:

  • You should not keep any tasks in your head – everything must be recorded. To free the brain from memorizing excessive information, you should write down matters of any complexity and urgency, including household routines and tasks that seem insignificant. You can use a notebook or a special application for notes, and such a list should always be kept at hand.
  • It is recommended to make several lists, but keep them in one place. For example, you can make a series of lists for each of the work projects, a list of household chores, lists to study, a list of ideas and possible projects for the future.
  • It is necessary to make the list of tasks and actions as clear as possible. Your task is to make notes that are easy to understand. Do without unnecessary verbiage and unnecessary abbreviations that are difficult to decipher.
  • For each item on the list, you need to find a solution and specify a specific deadline. You can add reminders while using task managers. At the same time, you should focus on only one task that you are currently performing, not allowing extraneous thoughts to distract you.
  • Select subtasks for volume plans, divide them into simple stages. So you will be able to systematize information and increase the efficiency of work processes.
  • After all the tasks are organized, get started. Choose a case from the right category, consider what specific steps are required of you, and start working. So you can implement large projects.
  • To-do lists should be periodically updated, as some of the tasks may lose relevance, and some of them may be postponed for the future.

Scheme of the work processorganized according to the GTD method, looks like this:

Scheme of the Getting Things Done system
It is important to determine what you will do with each of the incoming tasks. Don’t prioritize until you know exactly what needs to be done.

To correctly divide tasks, you need to answer the following questions: what is the task before you, what should the result be, is there any action required from you and, if so, how long will it take?

If the task can be completed in just a couple of minutes, for example, you need to make a phone call or answer an email, do it right away. If it takes more time to complete the case, it is worth breaking it into a long-term project that consists of several stages.

If the task is not too important or there is someone who can handle it better, you can pass it on to any of your subordinates. After delegation, the task goes to the waiting list.

If you are sure that only you yourself can best handle the case, but it will require a lot of time to complete, you can postpone it by entering the task in the “Calendar” or in the “Next actions” block. Tasks linked to specific dates or times should be entered in the “Calendar”. “Next actions” include all matters that will need to be returned to as soon as there is time for them. Use reminders so you don’t forget about similar tasks.

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Services for working according to the GTD method

We figured out what GTD is and how this methodology works. In conclusion, we list several services that facilitate GTD planning:

Evernote – the program is designed for creating and storing notes. The service allows you to collect all projects in one system, quickly record incoming tasks and take them under control. The program is available both on a PC and on a mobile phone. It has the functions of creating and distributing tasks within notes, setting deadlines and reminders, marking important tasks with flags.

Evernote is an application for creating and storing notesTrello – a program for managing projects, work processes and tasks of any type. The user can create different boards, make task lists, mark progress stages, attach documents. It is possible to connect to the task lists of other users of this service.

MyLifeOrganized – A flexible task scheduler that allows you to focus on the most important tasks for today. The program is easy to manage: you can change the order of tasks by simple drag and drop or reorganize tasks into a tree. Creating a hierarchy allows you to break a task into several subtasks. The service synchronizes all your devices so that tasks and projects are always up to date.

MyLifeOrganized is a flexible task – a simple application for planning tasks, making lists and setting reminders. The app automatically syncs with all of the user’s devices, allowing you to access your to-do list at any time.

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