43 Outstanding David Allen Quotes

David Allen is a productivity consultant, best known for his works in writing ‘Getting Things Done.’ As the founder of the David Allen Company and Actioneer, Inc., he has written four books. Here is a look at some of the most outstanding David Allen quotes ever documented.

“A complete and accurately defined list of projects, kept current and reviewed on at least a weekly basis.”

“Almost every project could be done better, and an infinite quantity of information is now available that could make that happen.”

“Anything that causes you to overreact or under react can control you, and often does.”

“Appropriate engagement is the key. Are you appropriately engaged with your staff, health, spiritual life, etc…?”

“At at any point in time, knowing what has to get done, and when, creates a terrain for maneuvering.”

“Chaos is in the world. Not in your head.”

“Einstein had 24 hours. So did Mother Teresa. So did Bach.”

“Every now and then go away and have a little relaxation. To remain constantly at work will diminish your judgment. Go some distance away, because work will be in perspective and a lack of harmony is more readily seen.”

“Everyone of you today are not getting a lot of things done because you are sitting right here.”

“Everything you’ve told yourself you ought to do, your mind thinks you should do right now. Frankly, as soon add you have two things to do stored in your RAM, you’ve generated personal failure, because you can’t do two things at the same time. This produces an all-pervasive stress factor whose source can’t be pin-pointed.”

“Getting things done is not about getting things done.”

“How much does it take to have a good idea? Zero. You don’t need time. You need room in your head.”

“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.”

“If you had just two more hours what would you fill it with? Probably more stickiness like email.”

“In a crisis you are focused on a very specific outcome.”

“is a master key to stress-free productivity.”

“It seems that there’s a part of our psyche that doesn’t know the difference between an agreement about cleaning the garage and an agreement about buying a company.”

“Most people feel best about their work the week before their vacation, but it’s not because of the vacation itself. What do you do the last week before you leave on a big trip? You clean up, close up, clarify, and renegotiate all your agreements with yourself and others. I just suggest that you do this weekly instead of yearly.”

“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.”

“One missed e-mail, untracked commitment, or decision avoided can have hugely magnified consequences.”

“Perspective and control are the two ingredients to time management.”

“Sometimes the biggest gain in productive energy will come from cleaning the cobwebs, dealing with old business, and clearing the desks—cutting loose debris that’s impeding forward motion.”

“Space is what we are after. Room.”

“The beginning is half of every action.”

“The freedom to make a mess starts when you are clean enough to make a mess.”

“The great secret about goals and visions is not the future they describe but the change in the present they engender.”

“The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.”

“The value of goals is not in the future they describe, but the change in perception of reality they foster.”

“There are no interruptions, really—there are simply mismanaged occurrences.”

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but the way out is through.”

“There is an inverse relationship about what is on your mind and getting it done.”

“Things rarely get stuck because of lack of time. They get stuck because the doing of them has not been defined.”

“Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.”

“Use your mind to think about things, rather than think of them. You want to be adding value as you think about projects and people, not simply reminding yourself they exist.”

“When we truly need to do is often what we most feel like avoiding.”

“When you are in a crisis there is a kind-of peace that shows up there.”

“You are most productive when you have freedom to make a mess.”

“You can do anything, but not everything.”

“You can fool everyone else, but you can’t fool your own mind.”

“You can only feel good about what you’re not doing when you know what it is.”

“You don’t actually do a project; you can only do action steps related to it. When enough of the right action steps have been taken, some situation will have been created that matches your initial picture of the outcome closely enough that you can call it “done.””

“Your ability to generate power is directly proportional to your ability to relax.”

“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”

Allen presents his talk on the art of the stress free productivity during this Ted Talk at Claremont Colleges. As a productivity coach, Allen has spent his life sharing the best strategies to maximize your daily productivity.

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