The fast-paced world that we inhabit today often induces acute stress and anxiety owing to the number of things that keep piling up in our everyday to-do lists. As we continue to chase that elusive high productivity day, day after day, there’s always something that goes unchecked whether that might be a lingering home project or something that needs to be revised for work. The pandemic and the enforced social distancing that it brought along, made the task of keeping up productivity even more difficult as we spend our days sequestered in our homes, in front of screens still struggling to increase workplace productivity. Here is where the GTD method comes into the picture.
Are you someone who often feels overwhelmed by the amount of work that is left to be done? Do you keep worrying about being productive and meeting deadlines and yet, end up putting things off until the very last minute? Then the Getting Things Done, or GTD method, is the ideal tool to ensure efficient task management and increase workplace productivity, while inducing the least amount of stress and anxiety on your part, all at the same time. This organizational methodology can do wonders, if employed accurately.
What is the GTD method and how does it work?
The organizational schema of Getting Things Done or GTD in short, was proposed by David Allen in his book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity. What Allen proposed by virtue of this methodology is simple yet exceedingly effective. He explained that storing or recording all that information about upcoming commitments and tasks takes up a lot of that precious mind space and generates excessive stress. Instead, he suggested decluttering the mind by writing down the tasks in an organized way so that you do not have to worry about forgetting or missing any of them. This would also ensure that you succeed in categorizing these tasks into small, achievable targets and in turn, get liberated from the distress that meeting humongous tasks bring along. Here are the five steps that the Getting Things Done method or the GTD method encompasses:
The first step in the GTD method is to identify and record all the tasks that demand your attention, be it menial or something colossal into an ‘Inbox’. This is meant to ensure that you do not miss out on any commitments. So, get all the lingering thoughts out of your head and put it down either on paper or you can use a digital version too. This is like a brain dump of everything you need to do, in no particular order. It’s important not to overthink the tasks at this stage, so note things down as they occur to you.
The next step in the GTD method is to think about each individual task in the Inbox and segregate them on the basis of the subsequent course of action they warrant. In case a particular task does not call upon immediate action, you can then decide if it is to be put on hold for the time being, delegated, or discarded entirely.
After having made those decisions, the next step is to organize them in appropriate sections or contexts. This means you need to separate them in order of importance and urgency. So, actually delegate those tasks that need to be delegated, schedule the meetings and appointments in your calendar, and put away things that are done or need to be done at a later date. This will allow for every task to be dealt with without over-processing them and wasting time. It will also ensure that none of the tasks gets left out or delayed and the tasks that truly need your attention are dealt with immediately.
Now that you have your priorities listed down, it is crucial for you to review them. In fact, evaluate them and revise the contents periodically to ensure that you are not missing out on any of the engagements and that you stay up-to-date when it comes to new ventures and enterprises.
The final step is to start working on your engagements, taking into account factors such as the time available, their position on your priority list, their context, and so on.
How to use the GTD method to increase workplace productivity
Getting acquainted with the method of Getting Things Done or the GTD methodology immediately brings to mind the question as to whether this efficiency system can be employed in the workplace. In an era thwarted by the pandemic, where concepts such as social distancing and remote work are set to be the new norm, such organizational methodologies as GTD are bound to garner popularity and prove useful so as to ensure that deadlines are met and the efficiency of the workplace is kept up. Here are a few key ways in which the the GTD method can be use to increase workplace productivity;
1. Efficiency booster
Needless to say, the GTD methodology is bound to boost the productivity of the workplace by breaking down extensive goals into smaller and achievable targets. Without all that stress bowing down on them, employees will work stress-free and the collective utilization of this system will help to boost the efficiency of the team, as a whole.
2. Systematic layout
The concrete, concise steps ensure that there is a course of action in place and no time is wasted due to procrastination or due to frivolous fretting. This will maximize the total output and ensure that deadlines are met at the right time.
3. Aid creativity and boost confidence