The Complete Guide to the Getting Things Done (GTD) Methodology

When your to-do list keeps growing and you can’t help but worry about the amount of work that’s piling up, what’s your way of getting things done? Do you pull longer hours? Explore productivity hacks? Or optimize your schedule? The GTD method may address some of your most pressing productivity obstacles and more.   

The project management methodology introduced by David Allen in his book "Getting Things Done" is well known and can bring calm to even the busiest workload. Also known as GTD, the getting things done system can help keep staff organized and productive to ensure that they’re able to focus on their critical tasks.

According to a recent survey, 94% of workers reported feeling stressed at their workplace, with the major trigger being insurmountable workload. 

In his book, David Allen presents breakthrough methods of organizing your work and completing your tasks to achieve desirable results. Use it appropriately to organize your plans and prioritize your to-dos to make them manageable so that you can work through them stress-free. 

Read on to find out how you can leverage the essential yet easy GTD method through Wrike to manage your workflow.

Getting things done with Wrike in 5 easy steps

David Allen advocates for five easy steps that will help you manage your workflow by eliminating any mental distractions that might inhibit your productivity. In this guide, we will help you understand the GTD methodology in collaboration with Wrike.

1. Collect

When implementing the GTD system, start by collecting all pending tasks in one list with no regard for their urgency or importance. After listing your commitments, recognize and gather your “open loops”— anything that needs to be done. 

You can enter your open loops in Wrike either by creating the tasks that correspond with your to-do list. 

2. Process

After gathering your to-dos, determine if each open loop is actionable or not. 

If you find an open loop that is not worth your time, David suggests you either trash it, put it off for some time, or keep it for reference. This is because keeping more than four meaningful tasks in your head can make you lose your perspective and affect your performance. 

3. Organize

Now, it’s time to organize your tasks according to projects.

Wrike offers template folders where you can store your projects. Customize the hierarchy of tasks and share them with your team. 

Moreover, you can compile all the project resources you require in one place so that you and your colleagues can easily track them in Wrike.

4. Review

David Allen emphasizes reviewing your progress and keeping your GTD system up to date. According to this GTD method, you must keep track of your project lists, project support material, pending actions, to-do lists, and reference material. 

Wrike enables you to access your project lists in one place with reminders on pending and overdue tasks. This way, you can always remain in the loop with your deadlines as well as overview your outstanding projects or open loops.

5. Do

The final step constitutes the final action to finish the tasks at hand. By combining David’s methodology with Wrike, you can get a lot done and also save hours each day while increasing your productivity. 

Core principles of a GTD workflow — what makes it so effective?

At its core, the GTD method is composed of the following three principles:

  • Instead of keeping tasks in your head, you must keep a record of it so that you don’t forget a big idea. Writing it down will help you remember it effectively.
  • Break down the recorded tasks into small doable steps, so you don’t get overwhelmed with the pressure of a big project.
  • Let your GTD system help you capture and organize your ideas so you can act upon them later.

Using the getting things done method with your team

Team building and collaboration are the most critical aspects of a great workplace, as reported by the U.S. Workplace Survey. However, unstructured workflow and communication can affect everyone, rendering offices ineffective at productivity and efficiency.

Although the GTD workflow is applied at an individual level, you can also implement this methodology within a team. 

First, you must ensure that all team members are already using GTD for their work so that their collective behavior and methodologies can increase the effectiveness of the system. Also, you must understand that you need to apply the same principles to a team that you implement for an individual.

Make sure you conduct weekly team reviews to understand the schedule of their projects and if the workflow is being managed according to the directions given.

The only difference you will find between a team and an individual’s GTD approach is that the teams are not required to determine their next steps. Whereas, the individual needs to devise his/her next action to deliver the required results.

Save time by getting things done with Wrike

With Wrike, getting things done is straightforward — as is implementing a productive GTD workflow. 

Tasks can be divided into actionable and not-so-urgent commitments. The actionable tasks can then be delegated to your colleagues and teammates.  It also enables you to review your projects and overdue tasks by sending reminders into your inboxes quickly so that you can take immediate action.

This is how we establish the fact that Wrike helps you in saving 30 minutes per day while reducing the stress of your workload and increasing your productivity

To learn more about Getting Things Done and how you can implement the GTD methodology with Wrike, sign up for a free trial and get started today.

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