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Getting Things Done

. 3 min read . Written by MJ Kang
Getting Things Done

Have you ever experienced too many things bother you, and even when you think you have done all the works you should do and there was another task that I didn't remember? This is guidance for every people who are distracted by too many things to do.

Basic Idea: Don't Remember the Tasks in Your Head

We consume so many time for finding what task should I do next, and not forget everything we should do. Thinking about what you should do not only distracting your concentration, but also make hard to finish each task. It is similar to running one server background while processing, which makes processing power slow and even easier to make some error.

That's the point that GTD(Getting Things Done) is coming out. It is the methodology about handling the pouring tasks. The first place GTD was introduced is the book "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. I recommend reading this book if you want to know more about GTD after reading my post. My post will follow the context of this book also. So how can we set us free from tasks?

Workflow: Write, Do, Erase

Write Down Everything

Of course, the first thing you should do is write down all the tasks you have right now. It can be laundry or buy a new blanket for housework, doing homework or assignment for students, and fix a bug of the program or make a discussion appointment for the workshop. It is important to write down everything you remember before you make the classification of tasks.

Classify Tasks

Next, we should classify tasks. This allows us to find the task that we have missed in the first step and give the guidance for post input. I recommend you the first category is about the place (house, work, school, etc.), and the second category is about projects or reflecting lifestyle (project name, subject name, etc.). Of course, you can make your own classification that reflects the characteristics of your tasks.

Divide Task

Although we write down and classify all the tasks you have, we should divide tasks into more simple tasks. This process is necessary because some tasks are too big. If you do not break down your big tasks, one task will be too big and burdened to solve. But we should solve the task, right? So we want to break it down into smaller tasks. The criteria for dividing tasks can be chronological, or horizontal if each small tasks don't affect other tasks.

Do the Task!

Finally! Aligning the tasks are done! You can just do the task in the order of importance and due date. Don't think about the next task you should do! It will be all in the GTD box of yours.


Don't Forget to Write Down Tasks

This is the most important thing you should remember while using the GTD system. Since we are depending on the system to do the tasks we should do and forget it in our brain, if the task is written wrong or not written down, you can possibly forget and overdue the task. The way to avoid it is that makes task arrangement as one of the tasks.

As you can see, the process to put a new project/task into the GTD system may require the effort. So if you get a new task or project, put it in inbox right after you get a task. Then, about once in two days (it depends on your lifestyle), arrange the tasks in the inbox to the classification box and divide it. Remember, we are doing GTD to make tasks don't distract us, and it requires trust for the system really not to distract ourselves.

Do It Now for Short Tasks

Sometimes there are some tasks that take about 5-10 min to solve. For example, take a phone call with a client or printing the files. It is wise to do these tasks instantly when it arrives at you. These tasks are too small to put it in the GTD system, and it will distract other tasks also.

Use Applications

There are some apps that help you do GTD more easily. I personally recommend Things for the individual, and OmniFocus for the business manager. Also, if you are the Windows/Android User, I recommend Todoist. I recommend you to use both computer-based applications and phone-based applications because managing new tasks is easier in the computer, but you should watch the todo list frequently and easily, and the phone is the easiest way to see wherever you are at.


I'm using Things and use the GTD system for quite a long time. I think the most difficult and important part is to write down the task right after that task has been made. But if you become used to it, it will help you not to think about missing tasks, and focus on more important things.