Find out how you can focus on what really matters while staying stress-free.

At every level of our lives, we strive to be more efficient and to do things the right way. The problem is that we live in a world that is constantly evolving and that is constantly flooding us with new data and tasks to perform.

It is in this context of permanent distraction that it is extremely important to focus your energy on the actions that matter and create environments that protect you from stress and anxiety.

Considered to be one of the most influential thinkers in the field of productivity and self-management, David Allen is an American consultant known for designing the Getting Things Done (GTD) method that has helped thousands of people better manage their actions and priorities.

His book “Getting things done: The art of stress-free productivity” is an approach aimed at better planning all forms of projects. Whether it is to organize a dinner with friends or to make a presentation, the GTD method invites you to identify the clear objectives and to quickly identify all the next concrete actions that will allow you to get closer to the final objective.

Your brain is a thinking tool that requires concentration

In this world where knowledge has never been more abundant, knowing how to organize is one of the main qualities required for success. This is all the more relevant in the face of the unpredictability of information (messages received) and events (various obligations) to which we are receptive every day.

The problem with these modern demands is that they prevent us from thinking and being focused. All of this results in an inability to fully focus on a task.

Our brains are always trying to find a solution to our problems for three possible reasons:

  • You have not clearly defined what the objective is
  • You have not decided what to do next
  • You did not provide a reminder of the outcome and action to be taken in a system of trust.

For the sake of working as efficiently as possible, you must keep your mind clear of queries that have nothing to do with what you should actually be doing or working on.

The Getting Things Done method: 5 steps to master the workflow

To master the workflow, Allen proposes a 5-step approach.

1. Collect anything that requires your attention

2. Process content and determine what to do with it

3. Organize actions to be undertaken

4. Review actions and review options

5. Act based on selected options

If so many people are disorganized, it is because they perform some steps and neglect others, or perform all the steps at the same time.

Step #1: Collect anything that requires your attention

To protect yourself from distractions, Allen recommends taking an inventory of all the pretext for concerns (thoughts, ideas, projects, tasks).

Write them all down and place them in your entry box, which can take different forms: notebooks, lists on your computer, physical boxes. It will be the gateway to the entire CMO system.

It takes time to collect everything, however, this way, your brain will have gotten familiarized with everything that needs to be treated and prioritized for later—you will no longer be distracted from your current task.