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Getting Things Done By David Allen Download PDF Book Summary

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Getting things done is a book that can help you create a system to increase your productivity without any stress. This system is a combination of multiple lists, reminders, and reviews on a weekly basis so you can pay all of your energy and focus on doing things instead of remembering them.

This book has been there on the market since 2001, and it is still one of the best books to do things on time, and it can teach you so many things. However, we do not have that much time to explain all the things from this book. I will summarize the top 3 lessons from this book for you. And I assure you, if you can follow these three lessons, you will be able to do great things in your life.

Use A Collection Bucket

The first lessons that you can learn from “Getting things done” is, have a collection bucket so you can store all the things in that bucket instead of putting that in your mind and stay focused on things that matter most to you.

In straightforward and clearer words, if you have a task that you need to do, then write it down on paper, computer or your mobile instead of making a mental note about it. And you should pay your complete focus on the task that you need to do right away from this to do list.

We all think we can remember each and everything, which is true as well. But this is also a truth that you can focus on only one thing at a time. You don’t believe it, ok, think about a cow on the road and taking ice-cream from your fridge. I bet, you cannot think about one thing that without shifting your focus from ice cream to cow and cow to ice-cream.

When you make a mental note, then you give your energy and concentration to that mental note. As a result of this, you get deviated from your main task. So, when your mother calls you to bring milk and eggs, or your colleague asks you to review the presentation that he sent, or a call from car dealer to see the car that you enquired. Don’t take a mental note about any of these things. Instead of that write it down on your bucket list and keep doing what you are doing and follow the schedule that you made for your day.

While creating this bucket list, you can divide it into two sections. One could be important or urgent and second could non-important and non-urgent. In the first section of the bucket list, you can write about things that are urgent or important and need to be finished or reviewed before the end of the day. Such as buying eggs need to be done by the end of the day, and reviewing the presentation could be an important task that you may do tomorrow, but you can’t avoid it. You can put these kinds of things in the first section.

In the second section, you can write about visiting the car dealer to see the car. If you miss it, it should not make any big difference to you and others are there to remind you.
Also, you should make sure you clear these bucket lists regularly to avoid any complications.

The first list which is an important one, check it every day before leaving your workplace. If you missed anything that was important and urgent, finish that work now and cut from this list. If you have something important that you haven’t done, but can do tomorrow or day after tomorrow, add that to your next action list in the appropriate section. How we will understand in a moment. Same applies to your personal work as well. You just need to make sure by the end of the day, and this first bucket list should not have anything in it.

You should do the same things for the non-important section of this bucket list on a weekly basis.

Create a next action list

This book does not suggest you to create to do list with a strict schedule. Instead of that, you should make a next action list with a different section.

One section of this next action list could be all about work or profession working hours. In this section, you will include all the things that you will do related your work. The second part of this next action list should have things only about your personal work such as dropping the clothes for dry-cleaning, buying a new coffee machine online or writing a greeting card to your aunt on her 65th birthday.

You can divide these sections into subsection depending on your specific condition. You can make a subsection that says commuting. In this list, you can add those tasks that on which can take action while commuting by bus, train, taxi or flight. Replying text messages, writing few pages of your book, reading a book, or anything else that you can do during this time could go on this list. Other sub section could be similar to work on the laptop, work on the phone, work on paper, and so on depending on your specific conditions.

This way, you can take necessary actions in much smarter manner.

When you are commuting, you can open the sub section commuting from your work or home sections, and you can start taking action on this list. When you take a decision on something or complete it, make sure you clear that from respected list. Same applies for other situation as well, and you can get things done without worrying about the schedule.

Do A Weekly Review

This is the most important rule that you should follow to get the best out of Getting things done method. Above two methods will work fine for you only if you keep the list updated. You should take out 1 hour of time every week to review this list. In this review process, you should check each section of the entire list and if you notice anything is there which is non-important and still there in this list. You should remove that immediately.

If you notice something important is still pending in that list from entire week, make sure you give priority to those tasks in the respected section before finishing other works. This cleaning the list and clearing the items from this list make the entire system stress free and highly effective.


You have to understand this is a great system and it can do wonder for you, but only if you follow it religiously. In the start, you may experience some troubles, but once you adopt it completely your life will transform in an excellent way and you will be able to do things instead of thinking about doing it.

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