Getting Results with Getting Things Done – MBHP029 (Podcast)

by Dallon Christensen


Welcome to Session #29 of Making Business Happen Radio! This is the podcast to help you become more profitable, productive, and prepared to grow your business. Today’s episode is brought to you by the new Whiteboard CMA Review with live instruction and on-demand courses to help you pass the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam. This session highlights my new efforts with the Getting Things Done (GTD) project management and workflow methodology and how it has changed how I make my business happen.

Resized WBP podcast logo (JPEG)

Disclosure – I am not in any way affiliated with The David Allen Company. I’m just a fan and a convert.

My GTD Journey

  • First read David Allen’s book in 2003
    • In an Outlook environment, I just had the “Tasks” function with label
    • Pretty labels and high/medium/low priority – nothing more
  • I did do some basic collection of to-dos, but it was really never a system
  • I would get overwhelmed with what seemed like single tasks
  • Enter GTD
  • I reassessed GTD in 2012 as I created the Whiteboard Business Playbook
  • The goal with the Playbook is to link your purpose to your specific action steps
  • I stepped back and realized how much GTD influenced my thinking with the Playbook
  • It was time to go back and implement GTD into my life

My three key points with GTD

  • Have a system to capture EVERYTHING!
    • A mind is a terrible place to keep your ideas
    • Think of how tough it is to remember a phone number!
    • Now try to remember ten unique action steps or ideas – you can’t.
    • I always carry one digital and one “analog” method of recording thoughts and ideas
      • Digital
      • iPhone or iPad Mini – the Mini is VERY light and portable!
      • Evernote
      • Drafts app
    • Analog
      • Moleskine Plain Cahier travel notebook
        • Often quicker than typing on an iPhone
        • More accepted in places like church
      • Ecosystem medium journal notebook (add the affiliate link)
      • Moving to a Moleskine squared large notebook
      • Ruled paper leaves me in an outline form
      • Graph or plain paper allows me to take notes more visually
  • Know how projects and action steps interact
    • The Playbook has you prepare next actions after projects – easier to plan top down than bottom up
    • We generally think in projects anyway
    • Stain the deck is a project
      • Decide on the color
      • Buy the paint
      • Put the plastic to protect the walls
    • A project is anything requiring at least two steps to complete
    • We get things done with action steps, but we complete projects
    • Many steps in your capture process will likely be projects
  • Don’t mix action items and your calendar unless necessary
    • Your calendar is your hard landscape
      • Appointments
      • Specific due dates
      • Blocked times which are contracts with yourself
        • If you add things to your calendar and don’t do them, you will violate your trust for the calendar
        • You may block off specific times for thinking or writing, but don’t put a specific action item on your calendar unless you absolutely will do it

This is the first in a three part series

  • Part 2 (MBHP031) – GTD is about workflow, not tools
  • Part 3 (MBHP033) – Three GTD applications and what I use

If you are interested in me speaking at your next event, be sure to check out my speaking page.

Resources (Please note that many are affiliate links)

Drafts app
Getting Things Done book
Sketchnotes book
David Allen interview with Erik Fisher – Beyond the To-Do List
Michael Hyatt Evernote blog post series
Moleskine pocket square paper (graph paper notebook)
Moleskine large square paper notebook

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