I would sum up Getting Things Done in two points:

  1. Write everything down.
  2. Everything is work.

The first is the most important for actually getting stuff done. As I’ve said before, if it doesn’t get written down, it doesn’t happen.

The second thing may not have actually been a point in the book, now that I think about it, but I’ve started seeing everything that needs to get done as a piece of work: I have to take out the trash and do laundry and book a hotel for that one weekend and make a shopping list and send an old friend an e-mail and research an API for a project I want to do. To me, things don’t fall into categories like household chores or personal projects - everything is a task that needs to be processed at some point. It’s not “work” in the traditional sense of the term, but they are things that need to be worked on.

I used to get so stressed about all the stuff on my todo list that wasn’t getting done, but now I realize that there will always be more stuff on my todo list. It all needs to get done, sooner or later. As long as I just keep chugging along, as long as I keep being productive, I will be content. I no longer get worried about all the things that need to get done, but I do get anxious if I feel like I’ve been slacking off and haven’t at least accomplished something every day.