what we're reading now
follow us on facebook
follow us on twitter
subscribe to our blog
find it

What We're Reading Now

Tips for Better Productivity

12 September 2017

Janie read Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, and was pleased to find that she learned some valuable tips for better project management.

Tags: david allen, email, janie read, productivity, time management and prioritization

I am always looking for better systems to manage my workload and stay on top of the three email accounts that I manage in my role. Allison has blogged about David Allen’s book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity many times, and I wanted to see why she, and so many of our clients, have had such success with his system.

I sometimes struggle with staying on top of project work when I reach steps that require input from other people. I am good about making the initial ask when I need something, but not always very good about following up in a timely fashion when I don’t hear back on the request. My favorite tip from Getting Things Done, recommends keeping a “waiting for” list for managing these types of tasks. I now have a “waiting for” folder in my inbox to help me keep track of how much time has passed since I made a request. I am a big fan of cleaning out my inbox each day, so I really like this system of keeping track of ongoing projects, while not clogging up my inbox.

Another tip that I have found to be very useful is Allen’s 2-minute rule. Allen recommends when processing email to do all tasks that will take less than 2 minutes right away. In my role, I receive quite a few emails that take less than 2 minutes to process and respond to. I’ve found that I’m more effective at my job when I dedicate time to processing email and do as much as I can during the window I’ve allotted. There will always be things I must come back to because they require more than a 2-minute response, but using this system means that I am able to keep my inboxes much less full, and I know that if something is still sitting in my inbox after processing, it’s an actionable item that I need to come back to when I have a bit more time.

If either of these tips sound interesting to you, I recommend reading Allen’s book, or checking out some of the free articles on his website. He has many other systems and suggestions for better productivity.


Our Comment Policy:

Our blog posts are only half of the conversation. What our readers have to say is equally important to us, and we're grateful for all the comments that continue the dialog.

To ensure that the discussion here is as useful as possible to all of our readers, please be respectful of our contributors and refrain from harassing, threatening and/or vulgar language. We reserve the right to screen and remove any comments from the site. If you have a question about a comment or want to discuss our policy, please contact us. We'll talk it over.

There are no comments for this entry yet.


Leave a comment



Notify me of follow-up comments?

Enter the characters you see below:

« Return to What We're Reading Now