Book Reviews: Getting Things Done and Ishmael

Gearing up for an intensive four month stretch, I read David Allen’s Getting Things Done which was a solid refresher on productivity strategies. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past year studying spiritual and energy related strategies, so this was a great reminder of all the little, practical things one can do to improve efficiency and lower stress. The most important take-away from the book was the need to always capture those random thoughts that pop into your head. The most stressful moments for me is when I remember something I had to do or an original thought I had a few minutes earlier but didn’t write down. I will renew my effort at always writing down those random thoughts and reminders that fly through my head every day and organizing them on my series of electronic lists and to-do’s sheets. I organize my lists into short-term and long-term to-dos by project, yearly goals, life values and mission, maybe to-dos (someday in the future…) etc.

Next I read a very different book: Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael, a novel which is "an adventure of the mind and spirit." It is a readable, engaging look at how the human species views itself in the larger context of the earth’s evolution. It’s based on a teacher and pupil and their conversations which eventually lead the pupil to a conclusion that humans are killing the earth. I’m not sure the story telling format is right for me, but it is for some and I reccomend it if you’re one of those types.

2 Responses to Book Reviews: Getting Things Done and Ishmael

  1. Mari says:

    I have the same problem! Without writing the little things I need to get done is when I usually run across mounting problems. It becomes quickly overwhemling. Even when I do write things down, I usually end up with dozens of notes to look through, again, at a later time or date, which means looking at the material twice – once when taking 10 minutes to write it, and another 20 minutes later trying to decipher it and figure out what to do next! I’m glad I’m not the only once with the same problem. Thanks, Ben!

    – Mari

  2. very enlightening I must go grab that book and here I thought I was the only one dealing with random ideas popping into my head and not writing them ideas down and then getting all excited two days later when I remember to do it … actually it’s just happened :) lol

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