Renowned American productivity guru David Allen, who is visiting India on his maiden trip during November 27-28, plans to extend the benefits of his classic time management methodology, ‘Getting Things Done’ (GTD) to people here, banking on a strong global franchise model.
Allen spoke to Deccan Herald over phone from Kuwait on Monday, and shared a few of his ideas about managing one’s life and time. “If I were to give you a brief about the GTD story, I would tell you that I discovered, researched and implemented a set of best practices for 1,000s of hours, over 30 years. GTD, as a methodology, is a set of processes that is part of our day-to-day life, but we are not consciously aware of it,” he said.
Besides being a set of tips for time management and organisation, GTD is a total work-life management system. The GTD method (also described in an eponymous book which sold two million copies in 30 languages), is built on the idea of moving planned tasks and projects out of the mind, by externally recording them, and finally, breaking them down further into actionable work items. GTD is believed to have helped several thousands of people around the world to sharpen their focus, make progress without getting stressed, manage commitments effectively, have a clear state of mind for creativity, and work-life balance.
Talking about the competitive ‘stressful’ work situations today, Allen said, “The problem is that most people use their mind as an office, while the latter isn’t designed to be one. The mind can only handle and keep track of four thoughts within in its short-term memory, beyond which, it cannot remember things easily. A person working with too many things at the same time may lose perspective, resulting in impulsive decisions being taken, rather than strategic ones.”
Citing an example, he said, “Most people get confused when confronted with too many tasks at a given time. By entering the tasks into a list, things may get better, and accomplishing them is easier,” advised Allen, the Founder and Chairman of the David Allen Company, which provides productivity training and consulting to clients, including 40 per cent of Fortune 100 firms.
Model for India
As part of his India vision, Allen is looking at strengthening the franchisee model to popularise the GTD methodology here. “The purpose of the (global) tour is to get franchisees in place, and also to locate, train and certify a network of master trainers,” he said.
Over the next two years, around 60 master trainers are expected to be certified, from 20 right now. The certification process follows a rigorous three-level training programme.
Meanwhile, in India, Calm Achiever — a firm co-founded by Mohammed Arif Vakil and Mohammed Ali Vakil, who are both certified GTD Trainers — has been signed in as the franchisee. Allen will also launch the 2015 edition of his international bestseller ‘GTD: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity’, while in India.
“We have a big mission to get GTD to the world. A part of our vision also includes creating a pool of global clients,” said Allen, who will depart for Moscow, after his India jaunt.