Getting Things Done – the book – part 13

… starting from the point where the story stopped.

Identifying the real results you want

As you begin to use it habitually as your primary means of addressing all situations—from processing e-mails to buying a house or a company to structuring meetings or having conversations with your kids—your personal productivity can go through the roof.David Allen

So, what is “it”? The GTD method, of course1! Now, chapter 13 – hence, this post – is about the power of outcome focusing or of identifying the real results you want. Indeed, You can’t really define the right action2 until you know the outcome you’re after, and your outcome is disconnected from reality if you’re not clear about what you need to do physically to make it happen.

Things that have your attention need your intention engaged.

In other words, you need two things: defining what done means and what doing looks like. Here is what David Allen has to add: When those two key focus points become the norm in our day-to-day lives, the baseline for productivity moves to another level. The whole chapter can be summarized with these two questions:

  • Why are we doing this?
  • What will it look like when it’s done successfully?

Here is a quote – in the book, but not from David Allen; for a change – to illustrate the importance of determining outcome:

I respect the man who knows distinctly what he wishes. The greater part of all mischief in the world arises from the fact that men do not sufficiently understand their own aims. They have undertaken to build a tower, and spend no more labor on the foundation than would be necessary to erect a hut.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To be continued…

1 Now, if you have read the excerpt of this post first, the “it” (referred to there) was the power of directing our mental and imaginative processes. ^
2 See The Power of Next-Action Decision. ^

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