Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
by David Allen
This book changed my life. There are so many things I want to do... work, writing, socializing, staying healthy and on top of general life stuff, and keeping the house at a manageable level of chaos or at least sanitary. It all tends to get extremely overwhelming, leading to burnout. I read Getting Things Done during one of those burnt-out states of getting nothing done and feeling terrible about it, after one of my most organized friends recommended it. I spent a Sunday afternoon implementing the system: Essentially, getting everything out of your brain and into an organized structure where you'll always be able to find what you need, when you need it. And it works. It requires daily maintenance, but 15 minutes every day spent making sure you're organized (or more like an hour if you let the maintenance go for too long...) is well worth actually being able to get things done on time and not being jolted awake at 4am because you need to check and see if you ever sent that email you were supposed to. This book is the best thing that's happened to my mental health in five years.
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