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Updated: Aug 11, 2020

GETTING THINGS DONE: The art of stress-free productivity

Andrea Seydel Live Life Happy Unconventional Book & Coaching Club


David Allen's provides us with a powerful method to stress-free performance at work and in life!

Allen's premise is that our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax.

When our minds are clear and thoughts are organized we can achieve effective results!

We can train ourselves, almost like an athlete, to be faster, more responsive, more productive, and more focused in dealing with all the things we need to deal with.

The Art of Getting Things Done

A New Practice: It is possible to have an overwhelming number of things to do and still function productively with a clear head and positive sense of relaxed control.

Typical problem: We have new demands and insufficient resources.

Getting control of your Life: The Five Steps of Mastering work flow- 1. Capture that which has our attention (get idea's out of head and download) 2. Clarify what each item means and what to do about it (what action or no action on each needs to be taken) 3. Organize the results (by size or priority), create a master list of action steps. Time specific actions and day-specific actions. Create NEXT ACTIONS LIST 4. Reflect on (consistently) make sure you are looking at things that might be outstanding. Do a weekly review, which we then choose to 5. Engage with and facilitate good choices about what you are doing. KEEP MAKING ACTION CHOICES!

CAPTURE- CLARIFY- ORGANIZE-& REFLECT- all your current commitments, you can choose good action in the moment. Keep making action choice!!

The Five Phases of Project Planning: The key ingredients of relaxed control are 1. Clearly defined outcomes (projects) and the next actions required to move them towards closure, and 2. Reminders placed in a trusted system that is reviewed regularly.

The Natural Planning Model: The brain is the most experienced planner: Your mind goes through five steps to accomplish virtually any task: 1. Defining purpose and principles 2. Outcome visioning 3. Brain storming 4. Organizing 5. identifying next actions- FIVE PHASES OF PROJECT PLANNING OCCUR naturally.

Practicing Stress-Free Productivity

Setting Up the Time, Space, and Tools:

This part is dedicated to full scale implementation and best practices to achieve relaxed control. GETTING STARTED: 1. Set aside the time, dedicate two days or so to planning 2. Set up your space, self-contained workspace and organized tools. 3. Purge your files and organize them. Get your work place set up.

CAPTURING- Capture everything that has your attention. Instant dumping of your stuff or thoughts. Countertops, drawers, cabinets, mental gathering.

CLARIFYING- Now that you have captured everything that has your attention your job is now to get to the bottom of it. STUFF- What is it? Is it actionable? If not, is it trash, someday, or reference? If it is actionable what's the next action? Can you do it or delegate it or defer it or do it. WHAT'S THE NEXT ACTION? Identify projects now that you have clarified.

ORGANIZE- Setting up the right buckets or classification/groupings will allow your mind to let go of lower-level thinking and focus on intuitive focusing. BASIC CATEGORIES List, folders or groupings of ideas for clarity: A complete project list, Project support material (resources that support your actions & thinking), Calendar actions and information, Next actions list (action reminders list) , A waiting for list, Reference material, a Someday/maybe list.. By simplifying your focus on actions will get more done. GET COMFORTABLE WITH CHECKLISTS to help productivity and self-management.

REFLECTING- Are you doing what you need to be doing and it is ok to not be doing what you don't need to be doing. TIP: Review your system on a regular basis, reflecting on the contents, and keep it current and functional. Your system needs to be revised and evaluated regularly. Look at Calendar, action lists, update your system if needed, do a weekly review, look also at the bigger picture,

ENGAGING- When it comes to your real-time, plow through, get it done workday, how do we decide what to do at any given point? TIPS: You must first trust your intuition. But you can also consider context, time available, energy available and priority. (There is no reason not to be highly productive, even when you're not in top form) Take inventory of your current work to gain focus, alignment, and a sense of priorities.

The Power of the Key Principles

The Art of Capturing Habit: When the only thing on your mind is the only thing on your mind, you'll be present with no distractions.

The Power of the Next Action: Keep asking yourself, "What's the next action?" It increases energy, productivity, clarity, and focus

The Power of Outcome focusing: Directing our mental and imaginative processes to create productivity! It helps get things done. Helps with focus, fast track, & process planning.

Getting things Done (GTD) & Cognitive Science: Social and cognitive psychology has validated the GTD techniques of capturing, clarifying, organizing, and reflecting. In Positive Psychology it's called implementation intentions, psychological capital, flow or state of optimal performance and engagement, and also Self-leadership theory which is a process through which individuals control their own behaviour.


Getting things done is an art towards dealing with the stream of life's work and goals.

The techniques here help us to identify and navigate our commitments and interests with confidence and flow.

We discovered how to manage our workflow, implement life management system and leveraged our skills to create a clear space for focus and productivity.

My main take away is that when you don't have to think too hard about what you need to think about you can be super productive. To do the work of capturing, clarifying, and organizing, and stick to your What's next action lists and you are going to GET THINGS DONE!!

For a full highlight of this book visit my Live Life happy Podcast or website at

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