The holiday season has snuck up on me. If you´re like me then you may not be as advanced in your shopping process as you would like to be. I´ll be honest — I haven´t even started, and I´m still largely devoid of good ideas. With that in mind, I thought I´d spend the next two weeks looking at productivity related gifts that may be the ideal choice to stick under the tree for that special someone.
There is really only one place to start — the current bible of personal productivity: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. This book, by David Allen, is probably the first place anyone should start when they want to pursue a higher level of productivity. It has spawned an entire industry of spin-off ideas, products, services and resources to implement the GTD principles in your life.
In the sake of full disclosure, I have to admit that I am only lukewarm on Getting Things done. It is unquestionably a well thought out and well designed system that is workable (something rarer than it should be in this kind of thing), and it has helped tens of thousands of people. My hesitation comes from the structure and definition of the system. It creates GTD disciples who invest their full faith in the "system´ of things. I personally believe that a productivity overhaul will only succeed over the long term if it is well tailored uniquely to the person being overhauled, and I think that too many people would be inclined to follow this system as it is laid out instead of testing and exploring on their own.
That being said, there are many elements of the GTD system that I believe strongly in. The underlying principle of GTD is that you need to get all of the useless details and miniscule tasks out of the way so that your mind has the time to do the important and productive things. I couldn´t agree with that more, and Getting Things Done is worth reading for that reason alone. As a starting point it couldn´t be better, and it´s an ideal gift.