Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity is a book by David Allen on the topic of productivity that is a big hit in the blogosphere and there are several blogs that have been inspired by GTD.
I particularly like his idea that we shouldn’t be relying on our memories to remember to do items and if we have a system to keep track of all the loose bits of data we have to do AND WE REVIEW IT REGULARLY, it frees up psychic space in our brain that we’d otherwise use to keep reminding us to do things (usually at times when we can’t).
He also has a good visual matrix to process incoming information into logical areas. While there are core principles to the process, there’s a lot of room in flexibility in actually implementing it.
This is one reason I think that it is appealing to some ADHD adults. People with Attention Deficit Disorder need (and simultaneously resist) structure. I believe it works best when they can create the structure that works for them.
One thing I notice when I coach ADDers around time management is how different we are, and there is not one solution that fits all. I believe that’s one reason (there are many more) why many ADDers have trouble with time management, they try to take a system designed for someone else and make it their own without adapting it to their needs and what works for them.
Here’s what David Allen says is the benefit of his GTD system
Implementing GTD alleviates the feeling of overwhelm, instills confidence, and releases a flood of creative energy. It provides structure without constraint, managing details with maximum flexibility.
The system rigorously adheres to the core principles of productivity, while allowing tremendous freedom in the “how.” The only “right” way to do GTD is getting meaningful things done with truly the least amount of invested attention and energy
Here’s a Really Good Summary of Getting Things Done. It’s a nice set of notes from the GDT book. Here’s a screenshot from chapter 2’s summary on the 5 stages of managing the hordes of paper & digital info, aka workflow.