David Allen Keynote at Office 2.0

Updated: Video of David Allen’s keynote is now online.

Why read GTD?

surf on top of stuff, not in it. Get things out of your head, and feel happy to relax because you know what’s

Not inherently organized, how much easier to make things happen. Consult – flake or consultant are what you do then.

Gadget freak – anything small black and expensive: want it. Try it, see if it works later. Had come from small companies, figured the big companies had all this productivity worked out. In reality, the busier and more responsibility, the more they felt overwhelmed

Externalize your commitments. Clarify what it means – outcomes and Park results in a system with hard clean edges. Add in a reflective review process. Put everything in perspective and align it with your goals.

Offload brain’s core processor so remind and remember aren’t required to work in your head: avoid multitasking and let yourself focus. Brain is very good at analysis and pattern recognition – very powerful. But isn’t threaded. Needs to focus on one thing powerfully. Mind has to know there are placeholders for everything (decisions already made) somewhere, or it will keep spinning them back into your thoughts and interrupt your conversation.

You’re in the zone when you are focused on one thing clearly.

Not about just written things, about extended your mind and externalizing.

1. Capture what is rattling around your head. Identify what is pulling at your psyche. Don’t force decision making when you’re capturing those thoughts.

why getting organized often doesn’t work – can’t capture and evaluate and make decisions and prioritize all at the same time.

Jott is great.
David Allen notetaker wallet (office 0.5: paper and pen)
Write it anywhere, even your arm, just so you can get to it and process it later.

Having lists in and of itself doesn’t help: you have to empty that list every 24 hours or so.

Paper or electronic – don’t just collect lists.

2. Clarify meaning.

3. Organize what you’ve clarified.

How to collaborate with a team: what tools to interact.

You can’t legislate system. He doesn’t know what other people have a system. Judge on results. Set standard of “don’t let stuff slip”

Lotus notes, email. Lots of Lotus databases at the office. The interesting part is who’s responsible.

Common language is powerful – “I have 6 waiting items with you – can we review and/or renegotiate our agreements”

Don’t meet without desired outcome, don’t leave unassigned next actions

Personal preference for electronic and paper will still matter, people will just double their efforts to also use their own system in addition to the mandated one.

Uses discussion databases, have distributed systems to find out where the discussion and decisions last ended. Don’t want to click more than 2-3 times to categorize something. Internally has template for Lotus notes for their internal data along GTD model. “Will hear more about this soon”. Downside is requires someone fairly savvy to operate, hard to establish protocols and standards for what data to have input and legislate that as a team.

Must have common standards and agreements. Each database has a specific owner. Must have ownership, or stuff just lingers. And becomes a waste of time. It’s about your best practices, not the specific tool you’ve chosen.

Have tracked allergies, even, in home database, to schedule trips to avoid it. Has “quotes” database too.

Growing company with 6 divisions, moving CRM to something bigger than ACT as company grows is a new challenge. Scheduling employees around the world, etc.

Online may not be the next big thing. Interested in connection between form and function. When word processors were new, (and spreadsheets) were a paradigm shift and dramatically changed how you worked in an office and what was possible due to resource allocation.

Computer became thinkstation because of speed of Apple UI when came out

Mindmapping – another one. That is something new, but in early stages. Not sure where it will go – causes him to have new ideas he didn’t have before.

Speed of slicing and dicing information isn’t as revolutionary as being able to remix that way anyway.

Wants: “Computer: Fun, Ballet, New York” should generate a schedule of ballets in New York when a trip to NYC

Have to use and push a system hard to know if it will really work. Has to get physically engaged to know whether it is a geek toy or something for real life on a bad Monday morning. Can’t read the potential until you push the limits.

Ismael. Example: point of this conference. using new Web 2.0 tools in ways that they weren’t entirely designed for, see what happens.

End of day: is this about taking back the pace of your life. DA: point of new book. What GTD hit such a nerve was that it is a tool to give you back control and perspective.

Control: cooperation with intention. Accept what is, but guide and leave. Can’t fully control and predict. So yes, about regaining control of your life. About not being overwhelmed by the commitments you’ve made to self and others.

Information overload can’t be dealt with passively, you need to make executive decisions about what to do with info.

Getting in control isn’t about finishing everything, it’s about making decisions and finding an external way to

Start with control. If your ship is sinking you don’t care where you’re headed. Once you’re afloat, figure out which way to go. That returns your focus (6 horizons)

How to stay on the wagon? Do you need GTD to track everything you need to GTD?

It is about changing habits. Get yourself so habituated to the result is that you can’t bear to avoid it, like showering and brushing your teeth.

Addiction to stress. Your comfort zone with how many unread emails you can tolerate before you have to take action and make decisions about them. Don’t feel like you have to feel guilty about not working hard enough.

have you made a list and felt better? If you reverse engineer why that works, you won’t keep stuff in your head anymore. Would you throw away your calendar? No, then don’t keep other stuff in you head either. You do or don’t keep it in your head.

Crisis: then people are highly focused and productive. Because it drives everything else out of your head and there’s no decision-making. Lots of energy. Forebrain shuts down, you get both clever and stupid.

High performer: how do I get that focus BEFORE getting to the crisis point that forces focus. Remove distractions.

Multitasking is just rapid refocusing. You can do that if there is no residue from the things you just looking at. Like martial artist with 4 opponents.

Rapid switching is fine if you have the right placeholders and the unfinished pieces don’t nag at you.

Would be cool if you could see all your connections projected on a wall, to resort them.

If you make tasks for everything, do you still have time to complete them? Well yes, because when you can see the inventory of your commitments, you get better at saying no and not taking on more than you can do.

In the cloud, there is so much stuff, it can be hard to avoid leaving stuff lingering around. Why many people like paper – load is clear. Tools that scatter make it hard to manage. The system is only as good as what you will maintain when you feel miserable with a flu and fever. It has to work when you don’t feel like maintaining a system.

Captures in mindmanager and mindmaps – does a lot of double entry just to see things in the right places and contexts.

Mind Meister and Mind Jet are both here.

GTD Summit coming up in March 11-13. People who get into this really like to get together – create a place where they aren’t weird and everyone speaks the same language. Should be a good chance to compile best practices.


3 Responses to David Allen Keynote at Office 2.0

  1. Brian says:

    Thanks for taking the time to post the notes.

  2. You’re welcome. Videos of all the sessions are also being posted on the conference site, so just about everything should be accessible even if you missed the show.

  3. […] team at the Enleiten blog and website has also written some nice material about David’s appearance¬† at Office 2.0.¬† In particular they’ve done a nice job summarizing the reasons why a person might need to […]

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