Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done

David Allen’s productivity principles were a game changer for me years ago.  I picked up this volume to revisit and revamp how I think about getting things done.

Book Overview

In his bestselling first book, Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen presented his breakthrough methods to increase efficiency. Now “the personal productivity guru” (Fast Company) shows readers how to increase their ability to work better, not harder—every day. Based on Allen’s highly popular e-newsletter, Ready for Anything offers readers 52 ways to immediately clear your head for creativity, focus your attention, create structures that work, and take action to get things moving.

Favorite Quotes

  1. You need to collect everything that’s on your mind first, little or big.  Then you need to assess each individual particle of that inventory and ask, “Is it actionable?” (7).
  2. …the five stages of managing workflow: collect, process, organize, review, and do (16).
  3. But even if you know where you’re headed, you will still feel paralyzed and at the mercy of forces larger than yourself, until you do one thing: determine the next move (44).
  4. Clarity of purpose is necessary in order to know how to evaluate the experiences and possibilities moving my way (74).
  5. It’s hard to be fully creative without structure and constraint (84).
  6. Over the years, we have discovered that what we call the “weekly review” – catching up with all your capturing, processing, and organizing – is the most critical habit to build, to ensure that relaxed control is a way of life instead of an exceptional experience (89).
  7. The better your systems, the more you don’t know you have them (95).
  8. It’s when the pressures of unexpected change challenge the systems and behaviors that excellence is really demonstrated (120).
  9. When you plan that your plans may be interrupted or disturbed, you gain steadiness…Complaining about interference creates a swampy backwater of unproductive energy (133).
  10. When you least feel like slowing down may be the most critical time to do it (140).