Getting Things Done Method (GTD): Turbocharge Your Productivity Now!

Are you someone who waits until the last minute to complete the task, or do you stay awake the entire night frustrated about the next appointment? If you are any of these, then you are the right person to get started with the method of getting things done.

In the back of your mind, you would understand the process of getting things done.

To get started, your brain is not designed to store data. It is because when you have thousands of thoughts and reminders in your mind, you have minimum brainpower to do the work optimistically.

That is the central working element behind the getting things done method. You will have more power in your brain when you move your To-Do List out of the brain and put the same in the To-Do List tool. You have to choose the work that matters and prioritize accordingly.

What Is The Getting Things Done Method?

What Does GTD Stand For? GTD, short for Getting Things Done, is an acronym representing a productivity method originally created by David Allen in 2001. David Allen elaborates on the GTD method extensively in his book titled “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity.”

The method of getting things done works on a belief that the more information you have in your brain, the less productive you are. 

This method allows you to store all the work data in an organized way externally instead of keeping everything in your brain.

When you store your keys externally, you do not have to stress about missing your work. 

This method is one of the most prominent time management strategies as it makes it very easy for you to implement your work goals, and also it is a powerful practice that you should be following.

The method plays a crucial role because your brain is always in the background and filtering the upcoming tasks to ensure everything is done in time. Whenever you add on a new job to be done, your brain has to think a lot and prioritize the work all over again.

Steps In Getting Things Done Method

These five steps will make it very easy for you to get things done. 

They will help you catalog and organize the potential work in the external tools so that you can be stress-free and keep a tab of things to be done. 

Once the job is wholly organized in getting things done, you can also execute the tasks well.


Before you start organizing the work, you must capture the same In a tool and not your brain. The idea here is to store everything in our system that you trust so that you succeed in making the right decisions at the right time.

  • You can think of the tool as an inbox; any task or information piece goes into your inbox directly.
  • But make sure to think about it as your mailbox, as it is more of a list of tasks featuring data that needs to be done.
  • It would be best if you used a to-do list tracker to keep a tab on your work to improve your productivity.
  • If you’re going to work with the team, you can try using a work management platform to help you capture and keep a tab on your work. This will help you organize and manage teamwork at the same time.
  • Even if your work is not well organized while capturing, you can be stress-free as the first step would be just getting the stuff out of the brain and adding it to the external source.
  • You need to ensure that you use a perfect system that makes it very easy to capture all the data. The significant element here is to ensure that the information captured will enter your brain soon.
  • This will instantly lighten your load and also ensure everything is noticed. If applicable, ensure that you add some extra context, like collaborators and documents.
  • One of the best ways to capture all the stuff is by using a virtual system instead of an analog.


The next step is to clarify after the information is captured well. Here you have to turn the data captured into actionable tasks like full context.

  •  Two steps that go hand in hand include the clarification and organization steps. You also organize the information once you start clarifying as an appropriate task
  • You need to ensure that every item in the inbox has a lot of information when it comes to clarification.
  •  It must have an actionable title beside any context or collaborators that must be looped in.
  • Once you start clarifying the information, you must also add the priority linked to every item.
  • Things come up, deadlines also change, and preferences are no different when it comes to change.
  • When you have clarity about the priority of every task, you can rearrange all the due dates if vital so you will get the highest impact on the work done.


No doubt, while you are clarifying your information, you are also organizing the same, but under the notable organizations step, you have to put the information in the specific project.

  • You have to consider the data a virtual folder to store all the essential information.
  • By organizing or moving the To-Do List in the relevant project, you can turn all this information from just two dos notes into actionable work.
  • Whenever you come across an item in the inbox after clarification work or adding extra context, you must move it out of the inbox to the appropriate project.
  • Organizing is one of the essential parts of the method of getting things done, but the exact way to follow an organization depends on your goals.
  • Several to-dos lists would be unread in the inbox or the ones that would be safe to get back to after a few days.
  • But these things take up much mental space and could be more productive. Instead, you can turn the to-dos into actionable work and move to the appropriate project.
  • The inbox must be empty once you finish the clarification and organization steps. All the information should be moved to the respective projects.
  • The next time you open your inbox, you can all see new work yet to be sorted.


Getting things done is something to be done more than one day and forget the next. Instead, you have to review the tasks frequently, and you need to understand the task’s priority.

  • You must understand the priority of each lesson so that you can reschedule the work and juggle all the priorities.
  • Reflecting is one of the essential parts of this method, so you must do it first thing in the morning to be organized for the day.
  • When you know what you must do, you don’t have to look at your To Do List repeatedly.
  • The method is about reducing your mental load, so ensure you do not go through the reflecting process frequently because it will not help you make the most of the purpose.
  • A great pro tip here is that you have to do a weekly review about the work you have completed over the past few days and the tasks coming in the next few days.
  • This will help you ensure that you have caught everything essential and also help you clarify the priority.


This step ensures that you get a maximum chunk of work done in the getting things done method. Once your mind is cleared and organized with everything that needs to be done, it is time for you to do something.

  • There are no strict rules to understand what to do and when. If you choose this structure, you can pair the same with the method of getting things done with other management strategies.
  • If you doubt how to start engagement, you must know that you must first set your priority about which task is to be done. With different priorities, you also have to check the context.
  • It would be best if you got all the emails done quickly instead of switching between tasks or checking the email after every few minutes.
  • Another important thing you must consider is how much energy you have to get your work done in time.

Getting things done is an excellent method and is seamless to implement. This is a flexible method that helps in minimizing your stress levels. It will make it very easy for you to complete the high-impact work in time.

 Even though the technique requires a lot of effort, it will become straightforward once you start doing it regularly. It takes a good amount of practice to do things in time.

Key Takeaways

  • GTD emphasizes externalizing tasks for improved productivity.
  • The five steps of GTD: Capture, Clarify, Organize, Reflect, and Engage.
  • Capture tasks in a trusted system or tool.
  • Clarify tasks by adding context, collaborators, and priorities.
  • Organize tasks into projects or categories.
  • Regularly reflect on tasks and adjust priorities.
  • Engage in focused work and prioritize tasks based on importance and context.


Can the GTD method help me overcome procrastination?

Yes, the GTD method can be effective in combating procrastination. By capturing tasks and breaking them down into actionable items with clear priorities, the method provides a structured approach that helps you overcome the tendency to delay tasks.

Is it necessary to have a specific tool or software to implement the GTD method?

While having a dedicated tool or software can enhance the implementation of the GTD method, it is not mandatory.

You can start with simple tools like pen and paper, sticky notes, or digital note-taking apps. The key is to choose a system that works for you and supports capturing, organizing, and managing tasks effectively.

Can the GTD method be used for long-term goal planning?

Yes, the GTD method can be applied to long-term goal planning. By breaking down larger goals into actionable tasks and organizing them into relevant projects, you can create a systematic approach to work towards your long-term objectives while staying focused on immediate priorities.

Can the GTD method help in reducing stress and increasing work-life balance?

Yes, the GTD method is designed to reduce stress by providing a structured approach to task management.

By externalizing tasks, clarifying priorities, and engaging in focused work, you can experience a sense of control over your tasks and achieve a better work-life balance.

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