'Speed of Change, Shifting Priorities Stressors at Work'

David Allen, an author who coined the term GTD, a time-management method, launched his 2015 edition of ‘GTD: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity’ in the city

Published: 03rd December 2015 05:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2015 05:28 AM   |  A+A-

What are the biggest stressors at work today?

Speed of change, with shifting priorities and exponentially increased communications.  Lack of clean, clear, current inventory of specific work to be done

Could you share five pointers to work stress-free?

■ Capture what has your attention into trusted “buckets”

■ Clarify exactly what you’re going to do about each item and what outcomes you’re committed to

■ Organise the results into a trusted external system

■ Consistently review and reflect on the total inventory of your commitments, at all levels

■ Make trusted choices about how to allocate your activity and attention

Does technology add or reduce stress at work?

It can do either, depending on what you are doing with it. If you know what you’re doing, and you practice the best practices of Getting Things Done, it’s a great time to be alive. If you don’t, the technology is likely to produce more stress than it relieves. It also can be a serious distraction because of the connections it makes 24/7 to your outside world and network.

Does monotony at work reduce or add to stress?

‘Speed.jpgMonotony would add stress, because if you’re not interested in something you’re doing (or supposed to be doing), and would rather be doing something else, that’s an automatic inner conflict. If doing repetitive simple tasks is a pleasure, because it keeps you active and moving and allows your mind to simply rest, be creative, or contemplate nice things, that would reduce stress.

How did working different jobs - ‘35 jobs by 35’ - help you?

It gave me a range of interesting experiences and also showed me what issues and opportunities for working smarter were universal to everyone.

Won’t classifying things and making to-do lists take up a lot of time and leave less time for work?

It takes more time to be using your head at your office, driven by latest and loudest, and not being clear about the best thing to be doing, moment to moment.

Why do you say that people add clutter and chaos to avoid “negative space”?

Being relaxed and open is quite an unfamiliar experience for people; and it can make them feel quite vulnerable. Having a lot of clutter can give you a (false) sense of protection and security, as a buffer to the outside world encroaching on you.

What is the difference between “thinking about things” rather than “thinking of them”?

Thinking of things is usually because it’s simply a reminder of something you haven’t done. Thinking about them is adding value by observing them through different lenses and perspectives.


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