The GTD Elevator Pitch

Elevator PitchLike many professionals, I work in a high-rise building and spend a lot of time riding elevators. Inevitability, people know that I am “into GTD” and they ask me “what is GTD?”

What they really want to know is “GTD for Dummies”

Many people ask me what is the gist of GTD. They want to know the Cliff Notes version of GTD before they decide if they are going to invest the time and effort in reading David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done – The Art of Stress Free Productivity” or not.

I struggle to convey the basics of GTD as I want to elaborate on all of the goodness of the system and its benefits. This forced me to really think how I would describe the basics of what GTD is in its simplest form.

Here is my GTD Elevator Pitch:

GTD consists of three basic concepts.

  1. Outcome-Based Thinking – Articulating in the most specific terms possible what a successful outcome looks like for any give use of your time.  Another way to think about it is “How will I know when I’m done with this?” or “When will I be able to mark it done or complete?”
  2. What is the Next Action? – You don’t need to track everything you could conceivable do about a Project but rather you just need to know the next physical action that would get you closer to completion. Ask “What is the next action?”
  3. The Weekly Review – Accepting that the heart of the Trusted System that lets you move through a day with a high tolerance for ambiguity is the knowledge that eventually everything you’re doing gets looked at once a week without fail.

What is your GTD Elevator Pitch?

About Michael Keithley

2 Responses to The GTD Elevator Pitch

  1. Your GTD Elevator Pitch is excellent. Concise and gets the message across.

  2. David says:

    My elevator pitch is just a little different in the sense that I tend to describe “what it can do” rather than “what it is.” In my system, I tag all (most) next actions, waiting fors, projects and someday/maybes with the person or people who they are somehow impacted, either as a stakeholder or doer, of that item. So my elevator pitch is “Lets look at your name…ahhh, remember when you recommended Nickel & Nickel Chardonnay as a reasonable alternative to the pricier Far Niente, well I bought a bottle and I’m going to try it this weekend.” Inevitably, the recipient of the demonstration says something like “I don’t even remember telling you that but I love Nickel and Nickel.” I then explain that one of the many powers of GTD is having an agenda for any person on a moments notice…that’s my hook.

    p.s. The author of this blog recommended Nickel & Nickel on March 21st of this year…and that I read “Pillars of the Earth” on August 3rd 2011…and…okay I’ll stop now:)

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