2 questions that seem to set me free

I’ve finished reading “Getting Things Done” by David Allen and I have to say it was great. I wanted to share the concept that really hit home the most..

 

As a perfection-lover, control-freak and high-achiever (in my mind, at least) I really like to get things RIGHT. So much, that these “things” spin around in my head a lot. Sometimes they even keep me up at night. But not any more, it seems…

Is this because I’ve got no problems anymore? Or am I now perfect?

No – I just followed David Allen’s advice: 2 simple questions…

 

But first, why do things spin around in my head?

According to Allen, the human brain has a kind of RAM (short-term memory ability) like a computer. The RAM holds whatever is needed in real-time in order to quickly access it for usage. It doesn’t have a concept of “un-real time” and only knows the here-and-now. And it is limited. So it gets full if you don’t treat it right. The aim, according to Allen, is to empty the RAM and this is only done by “closing open loop”.

 

How do you close open loops?

Its easy: Tell the RAM that its done. To achieve this, you need to get it satisfactorily out of your head and somewhere else.

My chosen somewhere else is my calendar/task-bar…

…but the key is that word “satisfactorily”. To achieve THAT, you have to be CONCRETE and GOAL-ORIENTED.

 

What do you mean  concrete and goal-oriented?

For anything that comes your way, you won’t stop thinking about it until you are satisfied with the action-based-answer you have found. It doesn’t matter what the answer is, but it need to be clear, action-oriented and the first step to getting things done the way you want them done.

Everything else can wait, but not the first step…

 

Ask 2 questions to empty your RAM

I have been asking these 2 questions for about 2 weeks now and I can say that I really feel different. Check it out…

For anything that comes into your inbox (RAM…mind) ask:

  • What would be a satisfactory outcome for me? (Not perfect, just “OK for me”)
  • What is the next concrete action I need to take? (Not everything, just “next”)

 

That’s it! Whatever the answer is, write it down or put it in your calendar or on a list to do or give it someone else …. and then forget about it.

(Read the book for more details on strategies for the last part)

Like!

Thanks Mr Allen 🙂

 

Thanks for reading!

Follow me on Twitter

Visit www.infinitelearning.be

Leave a comment

Published by Dan Steer

For the last 17 years, I have been helping businesses and individuals to achieve their goals through delivery of tailor-made learning and development initiatives. Most of the time, I deliver training, coach individuals, facilitate brainstorming sessions, round-table meetings and workshops. As a consultant, I help my clients to promote and profit from the infinite learning opportunities within and without their own organisation, drawing on my L+D management experience, strategic approach and creativity, As a speaker, I inspire through story, humour and pertinent little bits of theory. I believe that the world would be a better place if people were happily working on their mission with competence and alignment to personal values. As a freelance worker since 2008, I have helped more than 11000 individuals to improve their presentation, communication, commercial, leadership and negotiation skills. I confront people with their own behaviour and convictions, facilitating and giving pertinent feedback and clear ideas on where to continue good work and improve. I seek to satisfy my clients with creative and to-the-point solutions… …and I make music, but no-one pays me much for it yet :-) First single here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0ShlY95X4E

Join the Conversation

5 Comments

  1. Visualisation of very next concrete step works for me. And Salvador Dali’s quote: “Do not be afraid of perfectionism, you will never reach it anyway”. Love Allen, I just do not work with as many lists as he does.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: