In my entire life, I’ve always hatched ideas of things I want to do. Everything from small things to grand projects. But most of them has never moved past the idea stage. I would say that I’m not the slightest unique in this. It is easy to come up with an idea, but it is hard to realize it. Especially if I don’t know how.
For every entrepreneur out there, this is a weird statement. This is in their blood. They get an idea and just run with it. But for the rest of us, we need to learn what to do.
So, what was I missing?
It all started when I discovered David Allen and his book Getting Things Done. This was the key that unlocked my problem. You see, in every idea that I want to do, hides a number of steps I have to do to get it done. Sounds simple, right?
Yeah, but, if you never consciously have been thinking in these lines your whole life, just instinctively find the next thing to do, it isn’t as easy as it sounds.
So, how does GTD (Getting Things Done) help?
First of all, you have to identify everything you want to do and write it down. Just the act of putting it on (digital?) paper makes the task more concrete. It gets a shape. It no longer is just something in your imagination. And it also creates a starting point for the rest of the work. You can read it, get reminded of it, point at it and say that this is what I am going to do.
But more important, it forces me to formulate the idea in a way that makes it doable.
Then you start breaking it down, thinking of what steps I have to take to get to the goal. This is where the magic happens. If you do this right, you will end up with a list of steps, each small enough to do, each clear enough to know what to do, and each with a clear end goal so you know when it is done.
Gone are the fluffy, pink, shiny something. This is a clear and tangible plan. It spells: “You can do it!”
One of the greatest wins are the removal of friction. I have this hypothesis that everything that we do has some friction. Some things have a lot, others have little. And the less friction a task has, the easier it is to start doing it.
Friction can consist of many things, but here are a few:
- Not knowing what to do.
- A lot of work before I can start doing it.
- Too big, so it seems intimidating and repelling.
But when we write down the idea, and break it up into smaller steps, all of this disappears.
I think that GTD is one of the biggest friction removers that exist!
Want to know more?
Read or listen to the book. David Allen, Getting Things Done.
Watch on YouTube, there are tons and tons of material. A lot by David himself.