Tue Sep 1 15:03:34 PDT 2015

Ready for Anything by David Allen

Ready for Anything
(Ready for Anything)
 

'Ready for Anything' is a set of essays written by David Allen, originally designed to be distributed to email subscribers. After the success of Getting Things Done, and undoubtedly with the enthusiastic support of the publisher, Viking, the collected 52 essay-messages were bound and sold in their own right. The result is a nicely written collection of sound-bites on the GTD philosophy (as Getting Things Done has become known) and David Allen's productivity system in general. Given the diminished attention span of the age - from which we all now suffer - and the diverse demands on our time and energy - this topic has a universal and enduring appeal.

The 'Ready for Anything' essays do not disappoint. David's easy phrasing is evident in most - and the message is uncomplicated and reassuring. As far as I can determine it can be summed up in a television or radio interview format as: collect, process, organize, review and do. And indeed essay number 5 provides precisely this summary. David recommends focusing on the next action and clearing the decks and mind. Great advice, of course, because starting with mission statements and values create quite a barrier to further action. It isn't obvious to me why there is such an industry associated with GTD - with many sites, software and resources associated with the GTD-meme. However, it does not seem to be in any way harmful and is clearly strongly transmissible. The essence of time management is decision making. At any given moment - do you surf the web, watch YouTube, or do some work? (There are really only 3 choices). GTD provides a decision framework - and with GTD - you can almost convince yourself that you can do all three at once. This easy relevance and possible alignment with the puritan work ethic may account for some of the popularity of matters time management, and personal-productivity in general.

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