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Ever tried to implement Getting Things Done (GTD) and find it just won’t stick for you? In this episode, we’ll break down this popular productivity system and show you where the common failure points are so you can avoid making the same mistakes as countless others. Even if you don’t like GTD and use something else to get things done, this episode will show you how to make your productivity system work for your personal work style. In the first part of the episode, Mike walks through the 5 different steps involved in the GTD method, how to ask the right clarifying questions when you’re capturing tasks, and how to identify all the different inboxes that exist in your life. In the second part of the episode, we share a sneak peek at a recent coaching call between Mike and a client who was looking for some help making his system work for both personal and professional tasks. If you ever tried GTD and found it frustrating or have trouble sticking to your system, this episode is for you.

Cheat Sheet

  • The basic idea behind the super-popular Getting Things Done methodology and why you need a system to capture information to in the first place [1:13]
  • How the 5 step process of GTD work together to help you feel relaxed and engaged in what you’re doing [4:44]
  • The real reason why it’s so important to process your inbox regularly [9:06]
  • Several common inboxes that people use and how best to use them [13:01]
  • How you can use contexts to have tasks show up at the right place and the right time in your task manager [20:14]
  • Behind-the-scenes look at a recent coaching call between Mike and Chandler [24:54]
  • A list of the things that haven’t worked when it comes to deep work [30:24]
  • The strategy Mike uses to batch smaller tasks and interruptions so they don’t derail his entire day [32:06]
  • How using the “breakout” block from the 12 Week Year to give your brain a break can have long-term productivity benefits [39:30]


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