#053: David Allen – Getting Things Done

David Allen

David Allen literally changed my life. Before I read his book Getting Things Done, I was constantly flying by the seat of my pants, stressed out, missing deadlines and wondering why I seemed to forget so many important things that I needed to do.

When someone put David’s book in my hand, the subtitle absolutely sang to me. How could I not hope against hope that David was going to teach me the Art of Stress-Free Productivity? (Tweet That)

I devoured the book and then went back and read it step-by-step, implementing the teaching he outlined. It wasn’t easy, but I dedicated two full days to capturing everything I had running around in my mind, my email, physical inbox, the piles on my desk and the unfinished projects I had started.

I can’t tell you the relief I felt even before I  started to tackle the projects and tasks I had now cataloged.

David will never know how much he has helped me. I appreciate him jumping on with us today, but I am forever thankful that he wrote Getting Things Done!

Now SERIOUSLY get out your pen and notepad. If this doesn’t help you, I’m worried about you!!!

Things David and I Talked About


  • It’s truly a global world.
  • He held 35 jobs by the time he turned 35.
  • He didn’t know what he wanted to be when he grew up.
  • While helping other’s build their business he learned methodologies that he was able to turn into a consulting practice.
  • Developed Getting Things Done as a package of best practices.
  • The difference between outcome and action thinking.
  • Execution comes down to the micro level.
  • Water appropriately engages with its universe.
  • GTD is about getting a clear head so you can stay appropriately engaged with your universe.
  • The stress of opportunity – How many things could you be doing right now?
  • Stress is defined as something I want to be true but isn’t true yet.
  • Asking yourself, “What has your attention and why has it got your attention?”
  • Deciding not to decide is fine as long as you have a decide-not-to-decide system.
  • “Set a meeting” is not a next step.
  • “Buy cat food” takes up as much space in your brain at 3:00am as “Create a life.”
  • A lot of people are trying to wait until they know what to do before they’ve decided what doing looks like.
  • The average person has between 30-100 would, could, should, or need to’s running around in their head.
  • Keep your filing system simple or you won’t file. You will stack instead.
  • When in doubt, throw it out… When in doubt, keep it… WHAT!?!?
  • “Neat” and “Organized” are two entirely different things.
  • You need as many files as you need.
  • Most people live in “emergency scan modality.”
  • Your ability to deal with surprise is, to a large degree, your ability to have zero backlog.
  • “You have to think about your stuff more than you think, but not as much as you’re afraid you might.” – David Allen (Tweet That)

The Books We Talked About


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

The Organized Mind – Daniel Levitin

Brain Chains – Theo Compernolle

Breaking Rank – Steven Coutinho

Getting Things Done – David Allen

Connect With David

Website: www.gettingthingsdone.com

Twitter: @gtdguy

Instagram : gtdtimes

Next Week

You will definitely want to join me again next week when I bring on Geoff Woods, the President of the “One Thing” company. The One Thing is a New Your Times bestseller and has sold over one million copies.  Geoff and I had an amazing conversation that you will kick yourself if you miss.

Tim Martin

Tim Martin

Tim has spent the last 22 years in the VB sales world. During that time he has recruited and trained over 2,000 agents to get people to do what they should, but wouldn't do if we didn't come along. In addition to his leadership rolls at the two largest VB carriers on the planet, Tim has worked with outside organizations through consulting and sales coaching. His energetic and humorous key note addresses have also inspired and electrified audiences throughout the United States. Currently Tim is also working on his first book "Success Is Voluntary." Tim and the lovely Dizzy D reside in Peoria, Arizona. They have been married for 30 years and are the proud parent of two gorgeous grown young women, Brittny 29 and Victoria 26.

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