CollaborationPersonal effectiveness

Recently I was at a lecture by David Allen, author of the book Getting Things Done, a worldwide bestseller with more than 2 million copies sold.

The lecture was dedicated to his method of clearing your head and thus creating space for getting things done. We are often so busy in our work that we are not able to perform optimally. That’s too bad. Don’t you want to perform optimally? By writing down and organizing tasks, you no longer have to worry about forgetting something or being late, and therefore you create space in your agenda. The task of remembering all tasks is replaced by actually performing those tasks.

David Allen devoted the available time entirely to explaining his method. But this could easily have been done in 10 minutes. It is rather simple. It reminded me of Herman Koch’s book from last year, in which the protagonist is a self-help book writer, who admits that his bestseller “Easy Life” could also fit well on a single piece of paper. But “those three hundred pages serve a purpose: people are more willing to pay € 19.99 for a book than for a single piece of paper”.

Do not get wrong. I’ve been using Getting Things Done for years, and it works brilliantly. I can wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone. I had only hoped to learn something about why so many people do not apply the method, presumably the people who need it the most. David Allen joked about this that it might be a reassurance to know that his method can always offer a way out, if your head is completely flooded and you have completely lost overview.

There is a clear parallel between Yabbu and Getting Things Done. It is both about increasing your effectiveness by applying structure to your work. Getting Things done on a personal level, Yabbu in cooperation with others. Another striking similarity is that applying the principles is in both cases extremely simple. In the end it is just a matter of doing. But why do not we do it?
I think the answer to that is just as simple. We externalize the problem, so that we do not have to change ourselves: “How do I organize my work? The problem is that too much is asked of me “. And when it comes to collaboration: “Lousy meetings? Indeed, but that is not because of me. The problem lies in our corporate culture.”

What’s your excuse?

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