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Ask HN: Is Getting Things Done still a book that HN recommends?
24 points by dominotw 37 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 17 comments
I have some spare time to learn to improve and structure my time better.

I remember seeing lots of recommendations for GTG couple of yrs ago but not so much now.

I wouldn't recommend it. I've followed it for years. The Eisenhower Matrix is flawed for the same reason.

The problem is that, unlike in 2001, there are now an infinite number of important things to do (e.g. learn a new framework, respond to boss's emails, unclog the toilet). All of these have bad consequences if you fail to do them, so they end up on the list.

To quote Paul Graham: "You're "getting things done." Just the wrong things."

Some better options might be the following options:

Marc Andreessen: https://pmarchive.com/guide_to_personal_productivity.html

(Make only two lists - one for today, one for later)

Paul Graham: http://www.paulgraham.com/procrastination.html

(Procrastinate on small things to work on big things)

There _are_ an infinite number of _things_, but which ones are important it's up to you.

I will be advocating GTD. It doesn't only give you the framework. Once you're done with the basics, it also allows you to make clearer decisions. A nice quote (self-translated, I wasn't reading in English): When the boat sinks, you don’t think about its course.

"Essentialism" is another classic in the subject, more disciplined in rejecting unnecessary stuff, complementary to GTD in terms of your concerns.

How the Mighty Fall [1] is the book by Jim Collins that I'll never forget.

The lessons within remain top of mind as a key mental check that has stuck with me over the years. The book begins with a study on hubris and how your blindspots are like a cancer of mind that remain undetected while working to kill you long before their effects are known.

See Jim Collins' 2009 interview w/ Charlie Rose to get the gist and understand the context for how the book came to be: https://charlierose.com/videos/22502 [video]

[1] https://www.jimcollins.com/books/how-the-mighty-fall.html

How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In, by Jim Collins https://www.amazon.com/How-Mighty-Fall-Companies-Never/dp/09...

I would recommend it, but I have some remarks.

There are 2 things I’ve learned from the book that I still use daily/weekly: 1. Capture everything, it keeps your head empty so you can focus on the task at hand. If something comes to mind I drop it in my Todoist Inbox to review later. 2. Weekly review: no matter how good the method is you use, as long as you don’t regularly clean it and keep it up to date, you won’t use it for very long. It also makes sure you can trust your system.

The GTD system has a downside I think: you could end up implementing it perfectly and never forgetting anything and getting shit done. But the question remains if you are getting the important stuff done or just all of the small tasks in life? Just as one of the previous comments also suggests.

It's my #1 favorite book.

I don't think you need to read the entire book. Watching David Allen's talks (Google, TED) and reading the GTD cliff's notes should give you a good idea of what the methodology is all about.

I only mastered the first step of the methodology, that is to capture everything that comes to your mind. I think it's the most important one.

I'm reading it right now and enjoying it. Overall the way I view these books is if I get something from them that is worth more to me than the $15 or so they cost it is of value, I don't have to agree with or implement everything in them whole hog.

I recommend it. I don’t recommend following its system to the letter. But it teaches some techniques that are useful for making sure you’re focusing on the right things and for making sure important things don’t fall through the cracks.

I think the 2001 version of the book is fantastic.

Even if you do not follow the whole system, you still come away with some gems.

GTD is out Pomodoros might be in again.

You mean the book by Jim Collins?


What book is GTG?

sorry GTD

GTG? or GTD?

ah..crap. I messed up. Its GTD.

... what is GTD

what is GTG?

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