Ayush Antiwal

Ayush Antiwal

A Short Summary of “Getting Things Done” By James Allen

The Getting Things Done is a road map to achieve the positive, relaxed focus that characterizes your most productive state. Getting things done book offers a proven method for High kind of performance workflow management. It provides good tools, tips, techniques, and tricks for implementation. The principles and methods are instantly usable and applicable to everything you have to do in your personal as well as your professional life.

Getting Things Done By David Allen

Getting Things Done Summary | David Allen
Getting Things Done Summary

Book : Getting Things Done

Author : David Allen

Summary of Getting Things Done By James Allen

Author Says reflect for a moment on what it actually might be like if your personal management situation were totally under control, at all levels and at all times. What if you could dedicate fully 100 percent of your attention to whatever was at hand, at your own choosing, with no distraction?

Anything that causes you to overreact or underreact can control you, and often does. Responding inappropriately to your e-mail, your staff, your projects, your unread magazines, your thoughts about what you need to do, your children, or your boss will lead to less effective results than you’d like.

Managing Action

Author says you can train yourself, almost like an athlete, to be faster, more responsive, more proactive, and more focused in knowledge work. You can think more effectively and manage the results with more ease and control.

Before you can achieve any of that, though, you’ll need to get in the habit of keeping nothing on your mind.

What you do with your time, what you do with information, and what you do with your body and your focus relative to your priorities those are the real options to which you must allocate your limited resources.

Priorities should drive your choices, but most models for determining them are not reliable tools for much of our real work activity. In order to know what your priorities are, you have to know what your work is.


Author says it never hurts to ask the “why?” question. Almost anything you’re currently doing can be enhanced and even galvanized by more scrutiny at this top level of focus. Why are you going to your next meeting? What’s the purpose of your task?

Author says when you land on the real purpose for anything you’re doing, it makes things clearer. Just taking two minutes and writing out your primary reason for doing something invariably creates an increased sharpness of vision, much like bringing a telescope into focus.


In order to most productively to access the conscious and unconscious resources available to you, you must have a clear picture in your mind of what success would look, sound, and feel like.

When you focus on something—the vacation you’re going to take, the meeting you’re about to go into, the product you want to launch—that focus instantly creates ideas and thought patterns you wouldn’t have had otherwise.


Once you know what you want to have happen, and why, the “how” mechanism is brought into play. When you identify with some picture in your mind that is different from your current reality, you automatically start filling in the gaps.


Author says when it comes to your real-time, plow-through, get-it-done workday, how do you decide what to do at any given point? As I’ve said, my simple answer is, trust your heart. Or your spirit. Or, if you’re allergic to those kinds of words, try these: your gut, the seat of your pants, your intuition.


Author says people are constantly doing things, but usually only when they have to, under fire from themselves or others. They get no sense of winning, or of being in control, or of cooperating among themselves and with their world. People are starving for those experiences.

Getting things going of your own accord, before you’re forced to by external pressure and internal stress, builds a firm foundation of self-worth that will spread into every aspect of your life. You are the captain of your own ship; the more you act from that perspective, the better things will go for you.

When you start to make things happen, you really begin to believe that you can make things happen. And that makes things happen.

Natural Planning

Author says the value of all this natural project planning is that it provides an integrated, flexible, aligned way to think through any situation.

Being comfortable with challenging the purpose of anything you may be doing is healthy and mature. Being able to “make up” visions and images of success, before the methods are clear, is a phenomenal trait to strengthen.

Honing multiple ideas and types of information into components, sequences, and priorities aimed toward a specific outcome is a necessary mental discipline.

Recommended Reading

The Magic of Thinking Big By David Schwartz

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