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David Allen is world-renowned for his GTD: Getting Things Done system, books, and certification. Over 2 million people have been introduced to GTD and discovered the power to clear their minds, sharpen their focus, and accomplish more with ease and elegance.

David also wrote The New York Times Best Seller, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity in 2001 and re-released a new edition in 2015. The book is published in over 28 languages, and Time Magazine heralded it as the defining self-help business book of its time.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • How David Allen got started in process improvement
  • What David’s mentor, Dean Acheson taught him
  • David shares Dean’s process of doing a mind sweep in getting things done
  • David explains how chaotic an organization can be
  • How the Getting Things Done (GTD) workflow works and how its five steps helps people
  • Why David revised the Getting Things Done book
  • David discusses how to he created the workbook for GTD and how people can leverage the GTD model
  • David talks about the picture he has where he was holding the Yuppie Bible
  • How David is supporting new GTD licensees
  • David’s favorite book
  • How David’s wife influenced his company

In this episode…

Are you finding it hard to gain clarity and do the things that would move the needle in your business? You’re not alone. David Allen says many CEOs and Executives are having a hard time getting things done in today’s business environment where they have to wear many hats but can only give attention to so little. Through his Getting Things Done (GTD) framework, David has been helping senior executives, CEOs, and business owners achieve stress-free productivity.

In this episode of the Inspired Insider podcast, Dr. Jeremy Weisz talks with David Allen as he explains the five steps of the GTD workflow to getting things done. David discusses in detail about how the system works to help you discover what is getting your attention and how you can refocus your mind on the things that matter most for your business. Stay tuned. Stay tuned.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Sponsor for this episode

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Rise25 was cofounded by Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran.

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Episode Transcript

Jeremy Weisz

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, Founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders. Some of the past interviews you can check out, Founder of p90x, Founder of RxBar, Founder of Atari, they talk about not just the ups but the downs in the journey. This interview is a little bit different this is was for the Process Breakdown Podcast that I did. It was so good that I had to release it on Inspired Insider, so stay tuned. And before you get to it, this episode is brought to you by Rise25 which I co-founded with my business partner, John Corcoran, what we do is at Rise25 we help b2b businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 partnerships and clients We help you run your podcast, so generates ROI. And the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at a way to give it to my best relationships. A podcast for me over the past 10 years has allowed me to profile others thought leadership and companies and give to them and have them on my podcasting platform. So if you have questions about podcasting, go to you can watch a video my business partner and I bands are like an old married couple. Check out thanks. Listen to the episode.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, host of The Process Breakdown podcast where we talk about streamlining and scaling operations of your company, getting rid of bottlenecks, giving your staff everything they need to be successful at their job. Before we get to introducing today’s guest who’s world renowned. He is in my mind synonymous with all of those things actually David Allen. I’m going to talk about today’s sponsor and the episode is brought to you by Sweet Process and if you have had team members asked you the same questions over and over again, a 10 time you’ve spent explaining, it’s probably your fault and you need to put in a solution. And Sweet Process is a software that makes it drop dead easy to train and onboard new staff and save time with existing staff. And they not only help universities, banks, hospitals, software companies, but actually I found out that first responder, government agencies use them in life or death situations to run their operations. So you can use Sweet Process to document all the repetitive tasks that eat up your precious time so you can focus on growing your team and empowering them to do their best work. There’s a free 14 day trial with no credit card to go to sweet at sweet like candy, Sweet and I’m excited for today’s guest. I’ve listened to his book and the new edition of his book. Today we have David Allen who’s world renowned for his GTD Getting Things Done system and books and certification in over 2 million people have been introduced to GTD and discovered the power of clearing their mind, sharpening their focus and accomplishing more with ease and elegance and he wrote The New York Times best selling, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity in 2001 and rereleased, a new edition in 2015, the books published in over 28 languages, and Time magazine heralded as the defining self help business book of its time. David, thanks for joining me.

David Allen

Jeremy, thanks for the invitation. Delighted to be here.

Jeremy Weisz

You know, there’s a couple ways we can go and we’ll talk about you know, some of the workflow which you’ve probably talked about until you’re red in the face over the years. And I want you to talk about there’s this really cool picture online I found of you holding up the yuppie Bible, so we will definitely talk about that. But I figured we would talk about the origins and what your mentor taught you and start there.

David Allen

Sure. Well, let me back up a little bit to me. I got into this from several different vectors, and sort of came together. And one was my interest in maintaining clarity and clear space in my own head. I spent time in the martial arts. I had a black belt in karate, meditation, spiritual practices, sort of self exploration stuff, you know, this is Berkeley 68, 69, 70, you know, so anytime to be there, and basically was on a path of sort of self exploration. But they weren’t paying people to do that. So I had to keep a job. And I had friends who were starting their own businesses running their own small companies, and I became a good number two guy start helping guys out. So I walked in and look around to see what they were doing. And, you know, basically c g is just some easier way we can do this. I’m just the laziest guy here. So I was looking to see Is there some easier way we can get this done? Now they call that process improvement, you know, fancy term. I’m just,

Jeremy Weisz

like, most productive people I know are lazy in nature because they want to find faster ways to get it done.

David Allen

Sure, well, efficiency and laziness. I mean, I suppose you could, you could, you know, kind of combine those those two things anyway. So I’d walk in and improve their condition and get bored, you know, work, okay, fine, then I’d go get bored. And so I’d leave and go get another, you know, number two job. So that’s why I had to say, you know, you may have if you’ve read my background, that’s why I say I had 35 jobs by the time I was 35. You know, just simply because that’s, you know, I was banging around you know, paying the rent. But you know, when stupid and you know, like, helped out people and did some good work, so I was good number two guy. And then one day I discovered they actually pay people to do that they call them something so consultant, you know, now couldn’t spell it now. I r1. So hung up my shingle 1981 Allen Associates, And also given the fact that I like efficiency, I didn’t like to have to try to make it up every time I had a new client in terms of how to help them if it wasn’t obvious what I could do. So I was I was hungry for models, or at least a model or some models that if it wasn’t clear what I could do, I could pull this out of my back pocket and walk people through some sort of a model that would improve their condition. So I was hungry for those kinds of techniques, etc, in that way. So that was that I then began to also just for myself, I like to be clear and stay clear. And as my life was getting a bit more complex and more complicated, I was kind of growing up professionally and career wise. I saw how easy it was to, you know, lose focus, lose control, myself personally. So I was also very hungry for those kind of techniques for myself. So it turned out that the techniques that I was finding for myself, they work really well I found some very, very cool stuff and turn around and use them with my clients and produce the exact With the same result, more control, more focus, more space to focus on the meaningful stuff, you know, that they wanted to do. And so, you know, that was working very well. And then somebody in the big corporate world sort of stood up and said, Wow, that we our whole company needs that, you know, that outcome. So, yeah, he asked me to come in and design a training program around all that. And I found myself thrust into the corporate training world. So that’s another long vector that that took off from there. That’s where the yuppie Bible kind of came from, you know, cuz I was training thousands of people in the, in the corporate world out there could have fooled me that I was going to be in the corporate training world. But back to your initial question about the DNA of this, some of the original techniques that I was learning for myself, came from a mentor of mine, a man named Dean Acheson, not the famous one, but the other guy. Still a good friend and he had spent many years as an executive, coach and consultant in organizational change. range. And he and I hooked up together, he sort of talked to me and said, Gee, David, you’re probably gonna take this, you know, maybe further than I am. And he kind of took me under his wing. And why does he

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