“Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” a Book Review and Summary

What I learned from Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress-Free Productivity Summary and Review

The art of stress free productivity

Getting Things Done Summary

The book which is considered the bible of productivity teaches about how to be productive even if there are lots of things to do. Most of us are overwhelmed if our to do list is filled up but the tips in the book are amazing to apply to be less stressed out. It focuses on making your brain as the processor and external objects to be your memory. This means to note the things down so you will not need to think of it while focusing on the task you are currently doing.

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Can we really be very productive and get things done minus the stress of being overwhelmed? Can we continuously do tasks without being interrupted by other tasks? The book has promised that you will learn the methods thought by the author, David Allen, on how to get things done on a stress free environment.

Actually, it is said in the book that we all have what it takes to do things efficiently while being stressed free. The principles are really simple, and it changed what I thought is possible about productivity.

This Article is how I applied the lessons in this book in my own life, how I turned made them into routine tasks that make my work easier and better. Actually, we have all have experienced what is it, and how it is done in one point of our lives.

While the book has a lot of principles that makes productivity easier, the main point is that we can’t think a lot of things at the same time. The source of our stress is that we can’t focus on the tasks at hand.

We lost our focus due to constant disruptions. It may be due to your other tasks such as work, family, friends, events all of it can affect our focus. And we are always bombarded with it. What happens is that we can’t focus on our tasks and since we are being overwhelmed by a lot of things you need to do at once… you just can’t handle it all.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity Summary

Write Things Down

Our brain loves think. Even things that you don’t need to do for now. It likes to wander on things. To be honest, we can’t really stop your brain.

Your brain is a wonderful tool to process information. How do I solve this problem, how can I do it.  It is capable of generating great ideas for your future. The problem is, it is also great in making problems. You might be busy and your brain will always disrupt you thinking on things.

How do we remove these thoughts? Why are we suddenly thinking about the party that we need to attend to? Why all of a sudden we think about our work even if we are at home? How can we reduce them so our stress will lessen?

You see, the brain is good in processing information. But it’s bad in storing it.

That’s why when your brain suddenly remembers something that we need to do, it tells us urgently that we need to do it. It is bad at remembering things. Whether we like it or not, that is how it works. Our brain is not meant for storage. It is a processor.

That’s why we need somewhere to put our ideas on. That’s why we need to write things down.

Writing things down when things pop out on our brain is the one of the key points in the book. When we write write things down, it give our brain one less thing to worry about. It is like, it is giving the task in which it is bad at, at someone better. What is it? NOTES.

Show Video showing notes (Phone and Computer)

So what do I do? How do apply this information in my day to day life? Simple, I use my phone to write things that pop in my head whenever I’m out. The phone is a simple tool that we always bring, why not use it for note taking.

After that, every Sunday, I check up with myself and open what I call my Sunday system. In which I review all the ideas generated by my brain, whether it is a something that I need to do, write, read, what ever it is so I can get a clearer picture on what I want and how my week went.

Now that you learned how to write things down for a stress free productivity, you can work better because your brain can now concentrate doing tasks without worrying of forgetting something because you write things down. However, there will be tasks that are very overwhelming that even if it is just one task. I mean those big tasks.

So how do we solve this? It is what the book calls the Done and the Doing principle.

The Done and Doing Principle

Done and doing principle is how you categorize your task.

For this example, I am going to make this video as an example. You see, before creating this video, I have to do a lot of tasks such as scripting both the video and this blog, preparing the equipment needed, recording the audio and video, post processing and uploading both this article and video.

As you can see, as of now, I do all these tasks which is quite overwhelming to be honest, but what I did is I categorized it by the doing and the done category.

DONE: Finishing the blog article and uploading the Video


  1. Make a script
  2. Preparing the equipment for recording
  3. Recording the audio and video
  4. Post processing
  5. Uploading

Now, I know that the finish product is the video, and the steps on how to do it. Now I know that I just need to focus on one thing at a time to finish these. My brain does not need to think of the next step. Everything is cleaned up and what my brain needs to do is to process these steps to success.

You might feel upset that there are a lot of things to do in which you just need to separate them. Make them easier for your brain to process. That way, even if something is terrifying to do, it will be a whole lot easier and your stress will be lower.


While the book still has a lot of lessons in productivity and breaking down more points on what I talked about, what I talked about in this video is how these principles affected my life and how I applied them. So as what you can see in this video, I thought about how I applied these lessons in my life and show them to you. How I structured a system that makes life easier for me. I hope you learned something and it makes things easier for you when it comes to productivity.


Jason Ong is a YouTuber and the one who owns this site. He shares what he learned to people and make videos if necessary. He was a former lecturer. The things he taught are topics related to Clinical Laboratory Science or what others call Medical Technology. Right now, he is also working part-time in an app company as a production supervisor. You can visit his YouTube Channel on https://ongjason.com/youtube

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