Interview: David Allen – The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

I took time out this afternoon from my overflowing email inbox, endless string of to-do’s and overwhelming number of projects, to sneak into a Senior Leadership seminar at Hewlett-Packard. Since I’m neither senior (well, not in the terms the organization uses that term) nor a leader, I was flying under the radar. But it was a risk well-worth taking.

David Allen - Getting Things Done The speaker was best selling author and personal productivity guru, David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.

Allen spoke for 90 minutes about the powerful methods he has created to vastly increase personal organization, efficiency and ways to achieve creative results. It was apparent that he is a masterful professional speaker in his own right, as well as an author and executive coach. Some of my favorite quotes from his talk:

  • Good executives are like Teflon – nothing should stick to them. But it’s apparent in most organizations that the boss is the bottleneck.
  • Stuff should not lie fallow in the upper levels of an organization until the heat is on. Then it spews through three levels of the organization creating stress and unreasonable deadlines for everyone. Managers should not let things blow up, they should take action when things first show up.
  • To sit there and have the same thought twice is not productive.

I was curious if the systems Allen teaches are as applicable to entrepreneurs and individual contributors as they are to managers in large organizations. To hear what he told me about this, click on the podcast icon below.

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Thanks Ian for the podcast. Your third bullet point is one of the ideas I try to get across to people working in my organisation – get stuff out of your head. Combine that with the equally simple GTD notion of the 2 minute rule and you have a powerful recipe for individual and ultimately workplace change.


Nice to see a trackback reference to this on David’s GTD website

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