Kelvin Baggs Productivity


For many years I have been intrigued by various productivity methodologies. More recently, I read the book “Getting Things Done - the art of stress-free productivity", by David Allen.

While this book was published in 2001, nothing much has changed since then, except for the volume and speed of inputs in our life such as mobile phone (cell) calls, SMS, email, Facebook, Twitter etc.

David Allen refers to the mental state of mind like water, and describes it as “a mental and emotional state in which your head is clear, able to create and respond freely, unencumbered with distractions and split focus”.

In his book, David provides an example: “Imagine throwing a pebble into a still pond. How does the water respond? The answer is, totally appropriately to the force and mass of the input; then returns to calm. It doesn't over-react or under-react".

David suggests that most stress people experience, comes from inappropriately managed commitments they make or accept. He goes on to say that your mind is great for having ideas but not for holding on managing them.

Getting Things Done (commonly known as GTD) is a personal productivity methodology that redefines how you approach your life and work. GTD has five key steps, that should be applied to all aspects of your life (e.g. work and home):

  1. Capture - capture and record, or gather any and everything that has your attention into a collection tool.

  2. Clarify - decide if it is actionable? If so, decide the next action and project (if more than one action is required). If not, decide if it is rubbish (trash), reference material, or something to put on hold (or defer).

  3. Organise - put it where it belongs, by categorising the action and reminders in the appropriate place.

  4. Reflect - review frequently! Review and update all system contents to regain/maintain control and focus. This step is critical to staying on track, and getting back on track.

  5. Engage - simply do your actions, using your trusted system and trsuting your intuition.

I highly recommend purchasing a copy of David's book, where he steps you through the entire methodology providing in-depth discussions and examples. I've been using the GTD methodology for some years now and have found it to be a true life-saver, giving me peace of mind. I’m hooked!

David does not recommend a particular application or technology to implement his methodology, it is completely up to you how to implement GTD. As he described in the book, using paper lists or various electronic applications or tools is completely your choice.

Mind Like Water: A mental and emotional state in which your head is clear, able to create and respond freely, unencumbered with distractions and split focus. — David Allen

Productivity tips

One of the best productivity tips from GTD is the two minute rule. This rule states that when you are presented with a new input (e.g. reading a new email), if it is actionable and it can be completed in two minutes, you should do it now! Many people have stated that this one rule alone from GTD has provided significant productivity gains.

I'll be adding more productivity tips in my productivity blog over time.

Trello GTD template

As you will notice from my website I am a Trello user and I have created a free Trello GTD template which you can use absolutely free. By the way, Trello is also free and available for various platforms. I have no affiliation with a Trello except publishing my free templates in their application.