David Allen of Getting Things Done on Productivity, Spiritual Exploration, & What it all Means

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“Here's the big secret. Getting Things Done is not really about getting things done…”

Greetings, SuperFriends!

Today, I’m joined by one of the top names in the world of productivity and time management. As we’ve talked about in a lot of episodes before, a lot of the secret science behind truly becoming superhuman lies in organizing your time, prioritizing, and getting things done.

That’s why I’m so excited about today’s guest – because he literally wrote the New York Times bestselling book on Getting Things Done. If you’ve ever heard the term “GTD” or does even some cursory research into the world of productivity, you know all about him and his method – which has really taken the world by storm since it was first published in 2001.

In this episode, we take a deep dive into the “GTD” system, and begin to understand how you can learn to use it in your own life. But we talk about so much more… including psychedelic drugs, mindfulness, meaning and purpose, accomplishment, and so much more!

As always, please share your thoughts with me on Twitter @gosuperhuman, and if you haven’t already, please remember to leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher.

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In this episode, we discuss:

  • David Allen's backstory, and how he became one of the most prominent productivity thought leaders
  • What it was like to be at UC Berkeley in the 1960's, during the beginnings of psychedelic exploration?
  • What is David Allen's advise for anyone considering experimenting with drugs?
  • What is the role of meditation in spiritual awareness (and productivity)?
  • Some incredible insights about clear-headedness, and the power of perspective
  • What are the two major frameworks that David Allen identified in developing his system?
  • What are the 5 steps that make up the “Getting Things Done” or “GTD” framework?
  • How long does it take to implement “GTD” in your own life?
  • What tools does David Allen recommend for implementing Getting Things Done?
  • What are the first steps towards implementing GTD in your own life?
  • How has cognitive science validated the GTD system and it's benefits?
  • Can you use memory palaces and other mnemonic techniques alongside GTD?
  • How does David use his own, modified mnemonic techniques to “capture” ideas?
  • Why is “doing nothing” so important as an indicator of success and efficacy?
  • Who is David Allen most proud to have using Getting Things Done?
  • A special homework assignment from David Allen – which you can complete today

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Favorite Quotes from David Allen:

“I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up.”
“[Drugs] give you a hint of what's out there and what's up there. But there's a glass wall between you and that.”
“Perspective is the slipperiest and most valuable commodity you have on this planet.”
“Now… this is not rocket science (unless you're building rockets).”
“Gladwell's 10,000 hours is nothing to the time I've literally spent desk side with some of the busiest people, best, and brightest people on the planet.”
“Could you and everybody listening just relax? Jimminy Christmas…”
“My definition of work is anything you want to get done that isn't done yet.”
“You're head is for having ideas, not for holding them.”
“The degree to which you are… a black belt in GTD is how well you do nothing.”


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