‘Ability to relax is the key to productivity’

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on January 22, 2018

David Allen, Founder, GTD

Take out the noise inside and create some space: productivity guru David Allen

For a man who professes to be lazy with no aspirations, David Allen, who is hailed the world over as a productivity guru, has come a long way. Allen’s self-help book ‘Getting Things Done’ (GTD) which shows the path toward stress-free productivity has sold over 2 million copies in 30 languages since it was first published 15 years ago.

“Productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. When you feel overwhelmed by all that noise inside your head, you have to get it out and create some space inside. Only when our minds are clear, can we be more creative, more strategic, more loving, more present” Allen who is visiting India for the first time, told BusinessLine.

GTD has over the last three decades evolved into a set of processes that has been adopted by one million people and over 1,000 corporations including 40 per cent of Fortune 100 companies.

In a digital world when people are bombarded with information and are overwhelmed with options GTD offers a five-step solution — capture, clarify, organise, reflect and engage. Explaining the steps, Allen said “collect everything holding your attention and put them in a trusted place. Clarify each of the items collected by asking ‘what is the next action?’ and ‘what would be the successful outcome?’

“Organise the information and reminders in places that you will see where and when you will actually need to see them. Regularly reflect upon and review the contents of your system. Finally, make trusted choices based on your immediate and long-term commitments as well as the available resources.”

Bengaluru-based Calm Achiever has been appointed the Master Franchisee for GTD training in India. Co-founded by Mohammed Arif Vakil and Mohammed Ali Vakil who are certified GTD trainers since 2008, Calm Achiever has already conducted 8 workshops for corporates and individuals. Corporates are charged $10,000-15,000 for one/two-day workshops for batches of 30 executives, and individuals are charged ₹10,000-15,000.

All in one

“GTD has helped musicians get more musical ideas, executives come up with more strategic ideas and even impacted people who can now watch their kids play football without being on their smartphones. While GTD first addressed the needs of mid-senior corporate executives, today all ages from seven-year-old children to the CEO of a corporation are benefiting from it,” said Allen.

Published on November 29, 2015

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