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David Allen: Getting Things Done in Amsterdam


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David Allen: Getting Things Done in Amsterdam

Pieter Wijkstra

On Monday we attended a presentation by David Allen at the Municipality of Amsterdam, for a group of 80 employees from the engineering division. David introduced the five key elements behind his Getting-Things-Done framework:

  • Capture everything that has your attention
  • Clarify what this means and whether it is actionable
  • Organize all items to where they belong
  • Reflect on what you are doing/have to do on a frequent basis
  • Engage trust the above leads you to the right things to right now - and do them!
David introducing Getting Things Done

David introducing Getting Things Done

David is an extremely engaging speaker

David is an extremely engaging speaker

Hearing David reflect on his own framework was great: he is inspring, brings many examples and with a few quotes broadens your understanding, even if you're an active practitioner. A few examples:

Organizing is about meaning matching location: you need to decide on a place for the spices and then you need to put them there. If they are not, you're distracted and if they are you know things are right because if feels right:

"In my kitchen, spices are organized when they are where spices go."

In David's experience, reflecting is one of the most important aspects of Getting-Things-Done. Keep doing it on a regular basis in particular is essential, people often choose for weekly intervals but this is subjective:

 "Review as often as necessary to get it off your mind"

When David learnt the City of Amsterdam was experimenting with Holacracry, he offered to support 'his town' by introducing Getting-Things-Done: David and his wife moved to Amsterdam three years ago from Santa Barbara, California. They are very happy with their new home; David is even learning Dutch and he's recently launched a new Dutch edition of his book. We strongly suggest getting your hands on a copy! 

Copies of the new Dutch edition

Copies of the new Dutch edition

David Allen signing books.png