Productivity Improvement | 01.25.2016

In Conversation with David Allen

“Efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the right things” – Peter Drucker

You probably know David Allen as the world’s leading expert of organizational and individual productivity. He is the author of ‘Getting things done’ and the creator of the GTD methodology. He is also fondly known as the author of the productivity Bible by those who have benefited from this way of working. David’s methodology essentially focuses on work being an art. He preaches that once everything you need to do is written down your mind is clear about deciding, “What’s the next action?” This is THE question. Once you have an answer, the action needs to be completed or pursued in a systematic fashion. In a recent conversation with David, we zeroed in on the various challenges all of us face at work and how these impact our effectiveness.

The challenges are pretty well-known. Some common questions, that occur to all of us are:

  1. How to go about planning your work? The crux often is what should go onto the “To do” list and how to ensure the things on the list get done?
  2. Just how great is the impact of distractions and how to work through the never-ending flood of information?
  3. How to evaluate just how effective or how productive one really is?
  4. And lastly, how to ensure that in the pressure of being productive work-life harmony is not lost?

Touching on several of these, and other topics, David made a great point that people just work and don’t really realize there is an art to working. He said that one needs to know how to define what one’s work is. It’s not so much of a skill, but it’s an awareness of a certain practice that one needs to apply. Work, in the broadest sense, is you wanting to get done something which is not done yet. This certainly makes it an art.

Do watch the video of the chat to learn how David, through several interesting analogies and examples, brings home just how one can get better at, well, anything including working!

Watch the video interview here.