The hallmark skill of our information age is the ability to stay on top of 3 types of information:
- Information we receive,
- Information we send, and
- Information we are waiting on
Even if you enjoy your craft, if you can’t do the above 3 things, your mind won’t be at rest enough to bring us your best work since the back of your mind is subconsciously swamped with information overload, responsibilities you’ve potentially forgotten, or stuff you need to chase from others.
How can we clear our minds of this clutter?
A few years ago I stumbled across the answer to this question when one of my mentors mentioned the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology by David Allen.
GTD is an information & task management philosophy for freeing the mind of remembering information (something it is not optimised for) so it is free to process information (what the brain is good at). GTD can be adapted to any information capture device, whether that be pen and paper or electronic.
A few years ago I started using GTD adapted for Gmail and have been using this system (and enjoying a clear mind and REM sleep!) ever since.
It has been so useful that a few years ago I recorded a YouTube of how I use GTD & Gmail and have since shared this YouTube with my team, contractors and even clients.
In the past few weeks, the topic of information overload has coincidentally come up in different friendship circles enough that it occurred to me it might be helpful to share our GTD & Gmail approach with you on this blog.
My prayer is that this approach will be massively helpful for you and will revolutionise your workday.
If it helps you, please pay it forward and use GTD to create work that matters.
PS. For iOS users, the free Pensieve app is the perfect compliment to the GTD system. Use this to email yourself notes while on the go with just one click/touch!