1. Collect – In the system out of the head; Few collection buckets; Empty buckets regularly.
2. Process – Actionable?
No, then set it as trash, maybe later, or potentially useful;
Yes, then define action, do if < 2min, delegate, or defer & track.
3. Organize – Actions on calendar, next action by context (calls, computer, office, etc.), and waiting for.
4. Review – Weekly gather & process new “stuff”, review calendar, update action lists.
5. Do – Choose by context (where am I?), time available, energy available, priority.
There are two key points in Allen's approach that are highly powerful:
- Get “stuff” out of your head in a trusted system.
- Think and act in term of actions toward success not in term of problems.
This has played an important role in my working life when my company has moved from the "few friends" start-up phase to the "leader & team" structure. Before, I was still involved in some development, and I had quite long slots to perform relatively few different tasks. As leader of a small team, I had to perform more and more small tasks, and there David's model has been very helpful.
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