Getting things done.

Finally I squeezed some time to finish reading “getting things done” by David Allen. When I first heard of this book 1-2 years ago, I thought to myself I already knew how to manage my time, so I wasn’t very keen to spend time learning about this. Since then, my nature of work has changed from full time programming to managing my new startup venture. I need some new inspiration to how to manage my time properly. This book did give some advice, but in my opinion it is not the very complete.

My view on time management is all about priorities, do the things that needs to be done and skip doing the things that can be deferred. It is this constant deferring of things that puts stress on the person while trying to keep these tasks in the brain. This book’s main point is to find a system that you trust and rely on and off load all the to do items from your brain to this system. It has similar idea to extreme programming concepts with TDD and story cards which also tries to take the stress out of the developer. There’s mentions of 43 folders – having 12 months + 31 days folders – which holds memos for future references. I personally don’t think it is that helpful for me unless I have a secretary managing it.

To practise this concept, the book’s website has some recommendation for some GTD software, but I haven’t found anything that suits me and that I feel has fully grasped the concept in the book. One thing I hate about most todo list software is that after checking the task as complete, it’ll almost always keep that item in the list rather than removing it. Why isnt there a simple to-do list that keeps track of the todo item while not cluttering the interface.

Another thing that I felt was missing from the book was how to deal with interruptions. He basically said knowledge workers should be able to deal with interruptions and prioritising their time themselves. I feel that if there wasn’t interruptions that stuff up our planning, we probably wont be seeking solutions for time management. I’ll like to see someone explaining the dynamics of interruptions and how to deal with them efficiently.