What To Do J.S. Bach With Time Management?

Today David Allen the globally acknowledged time and task management guru delivered a great presentation on the “HR Congress Budapest” sponsored by DEVELOR.

In his funny, energetic and engaging presentation David talked about the brain’s limitation to store 3-5 things maximum in the short term memory. In order to get control over the things we are doing, to maximize productivity and reduce stress it is vital to be engaged only one thing at a time.

“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them”– he said. This why we need a comprehensive system to store and find our to do’s, ideas, e-mails, contacts, important documents easily. GTD, the Getting Things Done approach is a method to ensure focus and free up your mind for creative problem solving. “We all have 24 hours in a day. Johann Sebastian Bach only had 24 hours like you have. He didn’t have to answer e-mails, but he had 20 kids. Take your pick” – he said. Brain sweeping is a powerful exercise he did with conference participants to clear our minds and record all “things” occupied our minds.

He also took the audience through the 5 steps of GTD and illustrated all steps with vivid examples.

“Time management is not a skill you born with, it is a cognitive muscle you need to train”

GTD is thought process anybody can follow and learn. It requires to follow the 5 steps in a conscious and meaningful way. Everybody feels the most productive one week before his or her holiday. Why? Because we follow the 5 steps of GTD: capture, clarify, organize, etc. Why don’t we do it every week?

GTD is applied by all kind of organizations from start-ups, churches and multinational corporations. It is a work skill for everyone and enables leaders and co-workers to deal with the unexpected. It creates room to learn and ensures implementation and execution.

Based on questions David explained that he found the psychological challenges are quite universal related to time and task management. “Open office sucks, it is full of noise and opportunity for distraction.” Some people might be interested more about the high level and vision aspect of GTD some are more attracted by details, but the usefulness of GTD is universal across generations, culture and gender.