David Allen is the author of Getting Things Done the book that many refer to as the productivity bible. David has 35 years experience as a management consultant and executive coach, but he is best known as the personal productivity guru behind the Getting Things Done Method. He is also known as the GTD Guy.

David believes in having a relaxed balance of perspective and control, by getting things off of your mind, so you are free of stress and can achieve a “mind like water”.  The GTD work-life balance system has helped countless individuals and organizations bring order to chaos. David is considered the leading authority in organization and personal productivity. Today, we discuss the GTD approach to book writing and the power of getting things done.

You can find David here:
Getting Things Done
@gtdguy on Twitter
Books by David Allen
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
David Allen on LinkedIn
David Allen on Instagram
David Allen on Facebook
Ready for Anything
Making It All Work

Show Notes
[01:10] It took David 25 years to figure out that what he had figured out was unique.
[02:09] David decided to write the manual on what he had figured out.
[02:33] He spent a day with an advisory group. To talk about writing a book or manual.
[03:31] In 1997, he decided to get his life out of his head and write Getting Things Done.
[04:02] He had no idea the movement that his book would spark.
[04:48] He had high anticipation, but no expectation. There was still a lot of time management and organization information already out there.
[06:12] Making his vision available for the rest of the world.
[06:38] First, David did research about how to write a book. How writing the business plan for the book was agonizing and productive.
[08:56] How a publisher suggested that a broad book would offer more value. He also suggested that David get an agent. He still has the same agent today.
[10:08] David had been capturing ideas with mind mapping software. Then he wrote a business plan. Then a crude outline of the book and content which included his earlier notes organized.
[12:12] It took a year to make it a real project. The next year was writing the first draft that didn’t work.
[12:58] David discovered that books and seminars are different. He also wrote reviews for his book first and raised the bar too high for what he needed to create.
[13:55] He threw away his first draft and started again. He wanted people to see the methodology sooner. Then he wrote the book in three parts: methodology, implementation, how cool the outcome could be. This took another year.
[15:06] The fourth year was spent creating the title, book cover, etc.
[15:55] One of the most impactful things David did was let a line editor clean up his work. He rewrote his book with their edits to learn to think about simplifying what he was saying.
[17:15] Editing was the art. This changed his writing from then on. He now tries to simplify and say things in the shortest way.
[18:02] How a book is a very intimate thing. You need to reach readers with an idea of nurturing and support and making things easy and fun.
[18:46] Talking with a reader as if you have your hand on their shoulder.
[19:26] Writing requires bandwidth and freedom of time. David needed at least four hours with nothing else to do to get into the flow of writing.
[20:22] Structuring time to write depends on your life, but everyone needs to block out time when they can think best. You need freedom of consciousness to write.
[22:06] Writing takes dedicated time. It can’t be done between the lines.
[22:25] Get everything meaningful out of your head and clarify actions. You can only feel good about what you are not doing when you know what you are to doing.
[23:27] Have a place to capture any idea that might be relevant. From mind mapping to Word docs. Don’t lose your raw data.
[24:21] Have a process for a trusted capture system to get to a rough draft. The rough draft gets things going.
[24:48] Build quality time take your raw data and blueprint and follow the path.
[25:15] Redrafting edits can teach you a lot. Using as few words as possible.
[28:31] How it was fun working with a ghost writer on David’s second book Ready for Anything.
[29:35] How most business books are ghost written they aren’t usually written by the guru.
[31:25] Finding a format with categories or common themes and how they tie together.
[32:56] You can’t write a book without blocking quality time. Create a marketplace with the idea for your book and have one place for your ideas. Ask yourself why you want to do it.

Links and Resources:
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
Getting Things Done
@gtdguy on Twitter
Books by David Allen
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
David Allen on LinkedIn
David Allen on Instagram
David Allen on Facebook
Ready for Anything
Making It All Work

Chandler Bolt

Chandler Bolt

At Self-Publishing School, we help people write, market and publish their first bestselling book. We've worked with tons of entrepreneurs, speakers & coaches to help them get their book written, become a bestseller & use their book to grow their business.

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