Categories | David Allen | Getting Things Done | Implementation | Inspiration | Psychology of GTD
Posting on The Health Care Blog, David Allen talks about how the core elements of triage from an emergency room can help you get you into your productivity zone. He outlines three steps to reach “serenity now.”
What’s the Real Emergency Room?
By David Allen
My summer job before I left for college in 1965 was the night admitting clerk in the emergency room in the Huntsville, Alabama county hospital – a facility built to support a few thousand in a small rural community but now taxed with serving hundreds of thousands, brought to town by the new Apollo missile program. Saturday nights in the small emergency room were often pure chaos, with auto wreck victims lined up on gurneys in the hallway. Those shifts passed the quickest for me, and I slept the best, afterwards.
Crisis promotes a kind of serenity. Why do people commonly tend get into their “zone” then? It’s because of what the situation demands: appropriate engagement. Think about the last time you were in such a circumstance. What were the fundamental components of your experience and behavior? Immediate integration of potentially meaningful inputs; clear definition of desired outcomes; trust in your intuitive judgment; decisions about specific next actions and physical movement on the most critical; consistent recalibration of all factors as required; acceptance of what can’t and needn’t be done at that moment. Those are all core elements of triage, and, actually, appropriate engagement with anything. Put together they’ll get you into your “zone.”
Try this: In the next twenty-four hours (1) Do a “capture” of everything and anything that has your attention – write or type that list somewhere; (2) take at least one of those items that really is tugging at you and decide what your desired outcome is, and the very next action required to move forward on it; and (3) take a half hour to step back and consider all the things you should be considering, in order to truly relax about what you’re not doing tonight.
You’re doing versions of this already, to some degree, or you wouldn’t be reading this. But make these practices more conscious, complete, consistent, and applied in the important arenas of your life and work, and notice how much more time will disappear and restful sleep you’ll have.
Read the full blog post here.