Sunday, June 18, 2017

David Allen, natural thinking process is: Why -> Vision -> Brainstorming -> Organization -> Next actions

In his superb book "Getting Things Done", David Allen introduced a phenomenal approach to creative project management. In one important section, he talks about natural order of thinking when looking to complete a non-trivial project. It is a powerful 5-step process:

1. Why

You MUST have a super strong WHY, if you hope to ever complete a complex project. Nothing below makes sense without a very powerful WHY.
If there are problems on lower levels of this hierarchy , always go back and redefine your WHY.

2- Vision of successful outcome

See yourself after the success. Vividly. It opens up your subconscious eyes to see things you've ignored all the time.

3. Brainstorming

This is beginning of How part. Write down, draw down all things that come to your mind for which you believe that could potentially help you realize the successful outcome you envisioned in step #2.

Mind mapping by Tony Buzan can help here.
Make no judgement and no analysis at this step. Every idea is a good idea.


Connect the dots, isolate the processes, streamline actions. Make some Gantt charts if needed.

5. Next actions

Make concrete action plan and execute them. After execution, move to Next action and redo.
Reward yourself for every action completed - it's one step forward to your successful outcome, it's a big thing!

Also, written plan of next actions help us focus and maintain it for a longer period. Most of us cannot focus more than a couple of minutes to the task at hand, without a significant external motivation. This is why written plan of next actions, and the vision of whole project is really helpful - it makes us feel more control over the project and increases our confidence in the whole project.

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