How's your productivity vocabulary? Clear, focused words that represent equally focused concepts can dramatically affect your performance. David Allen's Getting Things Done® (GTD®) methodology is used everyday by millions of men and women around the world to dramatically increase their personal and organizational productivity. I've put together this concise list of the key GTD terms and definitions. It's a small list, but these concepts put into action will deliver big results.

Key GTD Terms and Definitions

Action - a single, physical, visible step to get something done. (e.g. call Fred/draft proposal/wash dog)

Project -
Any outcome that requires more than one action step to complete

Sidebar: A key GTD best practice is to have clearly defined options when you are choosing what to do. Personally, I like to distinguish between “Next Actions” (your next, physical, visible action steps that are project related or not) and “Actions” (for capturing project related future, sequential, or dependent actions that would follow the Next Actions.)

Context - The locations that work can be done in. Can be geographical (e.g. At Office) or it can be resource-based (e.g. At Phone)

Waiting For - Commitments you are tracking that are dependent on someone or something else

Tickler - A system for tracking date-specific actions in the future

Someday/Maybe - Items that you might want to do in the future, but have no current commitment to complete

Reference - Items that do not require your action, but have value as information to hold on to

Weekly Review - A weekly walk through of your commitments so that everything stays clear and current, freeing you to be creative

The GTD Workflow Diagram

In addition to the vocabulary above, I've found the GTD Workflow Diagram to be a valuable resource. It's worth studying closely:

GTD Workflow diagram

You can download this diagram and related instructions for free from The David Allen Company Store.

Millions of men and women around the world use the GTD to dramatically increase their personal and organizational productivity. GTD is the the foundation upon which eProductivity for IBM Lotus Notes was built.

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