Network members learn how to get things done

James Harwood talks about 'Getting Things Done'

Are you swamped by the demands of your daily life? Do you wish you could do more in less time with less stress?

Most people would answer yes to both questions, and Cambridge Network members who attended two special taster learning sessions recently came away with useful strategies for 'getting things done'.

A best-selling book by business consultant David Allen – entitled 'Getting Things Done®, the Art of Stress Free Productivity' – formed the basis of the talks by James Harwood of Next Action Associates, the only certified international partner of the David Allen Company.  James introduced the book's proven 'work-life management system' to two separate audiences over the course of a day at the Postdoc Centre at Eddington.

Getting Things Done (GTD®) describes some simple but insightful ways for busy people to organise and manage both their work and personal lives. "This is more than time management or a daily to-do list," said James, who outlined the GTD step-by-step method for capturing, categorising and frequently reviewing "stuff" – that is, anything and everything that has your attention and concern.  The system leads users to define tasks and to clarify their importance, freeing up creative space in the brain.

"What would you do with an extra day?" he asked - and the responses included: ‘life admin’, ‘strategy work’, ‘side hustles’ and ‘catch up with friends or family’. The premise of GTD, he explained, was that greater productivity/organisation could help to give you your life back.

James said: "David Allen says: 'Your mind is for having ideas, not for holding them', so the system invites you firstly to capture everything that has your attention into trusted places so you don’t have to keep thinking about them over and over again. Then you decide next actions using a clarifying map. Once your information is organised in a streamlined way and put into a system – on your computer, phone or on paper – you will be able to react appropriately."

Attendees were universally impressed with the 90-minute sessions. Comments included:

"Lively presenter.  I was fully engaged.  I have already created some head space by making a more concise list of jobs and have ticked many off."

"It was so helpful to have some practical tips to take away. As soon as I got back to the office, I set up my very own 'getting things done' system... It's great to come away from a session with some tangible results and I'll be sharing what I learned with colleagues who weren't able to attend the session."

"Great session with ideas that I will take away and use."

"James was a very engaging speaker and his talk made a lot of sense - I am actively trying to implement some of these things!"

Next Action Associates offers GTD seminars and coaching for individuals and teams. Find out more here

Looking for ideas

James was introduced to Cambridge Network by a member of the Network’s PA peer group, who’d read the GTD book and thought it would make an interesting topic.   The Network team agreed and asked James to speak.   If you have ideas for speakers, please get in touch!


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