When you choose to retire, what happens to your To-Do list? Of course, it follows along – and now you’re populating it with a whole new set of items that you finally have the freedom to do. But it doesn’t take long to get the familiar feeling that many things are competing for your time and attention. I’ve used David Allen’s Getting Things Done® method for years, and I’ve been thinking about how it can be very useful in transitioning to ‘retirement’ and in later life. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to discuss with David Allen:
- His concept of getting things out of your head to create the calm state of a “Mind Like Water.”
- The key principles of his Getting Things Done ® method
- How to activate your Someday/Maybe list when Someday arrives
- How his Horizons of Focus can help you prioritize
- Why renegotiating commitments can help you regain control of your time
- What his day-t0-day life is like today after moving internationally
- What he’s learning in the pandemic – and what questions he’s asking himself days
- How to think about reconfiguring our living spaces in a COVID world
- How to bring more Joy to your daily life
David Allen joins us from Amsterdam.
David Allen is widely recognized as the world’s leading expert on personal and organizational productivity. His thirty-year pioneering research and coaching to corporate managers and CEOs of some of America’s most prestigious corporations and institutions has earned him Forbes’ recognition as one of the top five executive coaches in the U.S. and Business 2.0 magazine’s inclusion in their 2006 list of the “50 Who Matter Now.”
Time Magazine called his flagship book, Getting Things Done, “the definitive business self-help book of the decade.” Fast Company Magazine called David “one of the world’s most influential thinkers” in the arena of personal productivity, for his outstanding programs and writing on time and stress management, the power of aligned focus and vision, and his groundbreaking methodologies in management and executive peak performance.
David is the international best-selling author of Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity; Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life; and Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and the Business of Life. He is the engineer of GTD®, the popular Getting Things Done® methodology that has shown millions how to transform a fast-paced, overwhelming, overcommitted life into one that is balanced, integrated, relaxed, and has more successful outcomes.
GTD’s broad appeal is based on the fact that it is applicable from the boardroom to the living room to the class room. It is hailed as “life changing” by students, busy parents, entrepreneurs and corporate executives. David is the Founder and Chairman of the David Allen Company, whose inspirational seminars, coaching, educational materials and practical products present individuals and organizations with a new model for “Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life.” He continues to write articles and essays that address today’s ever-changing issues about living and working in a fast-paced world while sustaining balance, control, and meaningful focus.
On Your Vision for Retirement
“What’s your vision of how you’re going to be lifestyle career-wise or retirement-wise, three, four, or five years from now – if your life was as good as can be. And do you have that picture? And that’s where you might have the same purpose as your next-door neighbor, but you’ve got very different pictures about what you’re going to be doing. If you were fulfilling that purpose, you may be researching medical experiments, you may be writing a novel, you may be doing other kinds of things, or you may be being a great service. A lot of people in, you know, in their retirement years are looking for ways to be of service to people, given what they’ve learned in their lives. And so that, that may be what your vision is.”
On Activating Your Someday/ Maybe List
“That’s why people are walking around with this ambient anxiety. That’s creating so much stress for people. It really is the stress of opportunity. There are so many things to do, to your point. There are so many things you could do now that you’re retired. I know a lot of people that are flunking retirement, cause they just don’t know what to do with themselves. And you know, that’s understandable, but if they’d been keeping a list of their Someday/Maybe list, as it’s called, now, okay, which Someday/Maybe shall I activate now? Do I really want to write the great American novel? Is it time to start thinking about learning to paint? Is it time to learn the flute? You just need to identify: What are those things? What are those things that have your attention?”
On Planning in Retirement
“So, make some choices and then say, okay, let me try this – for now. And I think for a lot of people, especially at retirement age, it’s kind of nice to go look over the next six months. Here’s the thing I really want to focus on. Or here’s the thing this year I really want to do. I really want to put this in place and I’ll put all these other on the back burner. If they show up, that’s fine, but I’m not going to pressure myself to be having to move on to all that stuff. So those are always good, healthy conversations to have with yourself.”
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