Being "Ready for Anything" + the Zen of GTD, a modest review.

I just finished volume two in the GTD canon. Volume one is "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. I originally was tipped to "GTD" by Merlin Mann the creator and host of the 43Folders blog and the 43Folders WiKi. These two are the home to Life Hacks,(see LiferHacker), the Hipster PDA, Moleskine Notebooks, Fisher Space Pens, and much, much more. It is good stuff and great people, go see it now!

The second and latest volume in the GTD canon is "Ready for Anything" by David Allen. ISBN 0-670-03250-6, available, I'm more than sure, from Amazon. You can also buy it from your local, independent, bookstore, buy it from them and support your local business, everyone will feel better.

In the first volume David laid out the nuts and bolts of Getting Things Done. In later chapters he delved into more detail and techniques for coming to grips with with how to structure the intake of information, stuff in his words. How to process that information, and how to act on the stuff. This leads to lower stress, more accomplishment, and a quite mind, with which you can dream, think, and be at peace with your life. This is a practical, here are the steps, follow the steps, kind of book. Good solid advice and techniques. Good coaching and clear guideposts.

"Ready for Anything", or RFA, from now on, is far more of a WHY than a HOW. I find this book to be philosophical, insightful, filled with principals about WHY we work more than HOW we work. The sub-title is "52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life" David is very clear that you are NOT your work! The book is made up of 5 sections;

  • Clear Your Head for Creativity

  • Focus Productively

  • Create Structures that Work

  • Relax and Get in Motion

  • Remind Yourself of the Fundamentals

One of my favorite metaphors from "Getting Things Done" is "A Mind Like Water". This draws pictures of calm, flowing power, for me. Chapter 25 leads with "Only on thing on your mind is "in the zone". "How important is anything but the most important thing"? In the world of Zen, this is "Be Here Now". Chapter 27, "Stability on one level opens creativity on another". This is how to think about what you are doing so you reach the level of doing without thinking. This is focus, concentration, being on task. In Zen we teach "When washing the dishes, WASH the dishes". It is about be aware, be alive, be flexible. This is not being empty headed, it is about being clear headed, being "Ready for Anything"!

I enjoyed these books. There are valuable tools and techniques within the pages. There are clear ideas and insights within the pages. Develop a system you trust, trust yourself. Thanks David.

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