Making It All Work Book Summary - Making It All Work Book explained in key points
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Making It All Work summary

David Allen

Winning at the Game of Work and the Business of Life

4.1 (143 ratings)
21 mins

Brief summary

Making It All Work by David Allen is a productivity guide that teaches how to maintain focus and manage workflows. It provides practical tips for reducing stress and achieving work-life balance, using the author's GTD (Getting Things Done) philosophy.

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    Making It All Work
    Summary of 10 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 10

    We are easily distracted and therefore lose track of our priorities.

    How often has this happened to you: You’re working on an important document when all of a sudden an incoming email pops up. What do you do?

    If you’re like most people, you’ll probably instantly forget about the high-priority document and answer the email.

    But why is this?

    It’s basically because our minds are fickle.

    These days we’re bombarded with new information in fantastic quantities, from tweets to emails to text messages.

    And when this new information arrives, we have no way of knowing if it is important unless we divert our attention to it: If your email inbox goes “ping” to signify a new email, you won’t know whether it’s spam or a job offer until you look at it.

    This means we are perpetually distracted, and therefore struggle to focus on the important task for long enough to finish it.

    What’s more, the constant influx of new information and new tasks means that the quantity of work done is increasingly emphasized as a metric for productivity: salespeople have sales targets, teachers have student graduation targets, etc.

    But the quantity of tasks done is not a good metric to focus on. Though sending lots of emails and attending lots of meetings may make an employee feel busy and productive, it in fact says nothing about the quality of their work. A far better barometer for your productivity would be to see how much progress has been made on the predefined important goals.

    This focus on quantity can also cause us to get so bogged down in the nitty-gritty day-to-day tasks that we lose track of our larger life goals.

    For example, say your dream is to become a writer, but you’re always so distracted at your day job that you need to work evenings to make up for your low productivity. In this case, you simply owe it to yourself to get organized, at work and at home, to be able to focus better and have the time to work toward your personal ambitions.

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    What is Making It All Work about?

    These blinks build on the principles laid down in David Allen’s previous time-management smash hit, Getting Things Done (also available in blinks). It explains how you can manage your tasks and pursue your meaningful life goals.

    Making It All Work Review

    Making It All Work (2008) by David Allen is a book that offers valuable insights and strategies for achieving productivity and balance in our lives. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • The book presents a practical framework that can be applied to any aspect of life, helping us effectively manage our tasks and responsibilities.
    • By addressing the underlying principles of personal and organizational productivity, the book goes beyond simple productivity hacks, providing a deeper understanding of the subject.
    • The author's wealth of experience in the field, combined with real-life examples and case studies, ensures that the book is highly relatable and applicable to our own lives.

    Who should read Making It All Work?

    • Anyone who feels like they spend their days doing meaningless tasks
    • Anyone who feels they are not getting any closer to their life goals
    • Anyone who wants to achieve a better work-life balance

    About the Author

    David Allen is an author and consultant who specializes in effective time management. His productivity method Getting Things Done attracted disciples from many walks of life, not least workplaces and businesses. He gives consultations to individual and organizational clients, empowering them to make the most of their time.

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    Making It All Work FAQs 

    What is the main message of Making It All Work?

    The main message of Making It All Work is achieving balance and control through effective time management.

    How long does it take to read Making It All Work?

    The reading time for Making It All Work varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Making It All Work a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Making It All Work is a valuable read for anyone looking to improve their time management skills. It offers practical insights and strategies for achieving balance.

    Who is the author of Making It All Work?

    The author of Making It All Work is David Allen.

    What to read after Making It All Work?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Making It All Work, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Personal Kanban by Jim Benson & Tonianne DeMaria Barry
    • Organize Tomorrow Today by Jason Selk
    • The Pomodoro Technique by Francesco Cirillo
    • The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
    • Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy
    • Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy
    • The Procrastination Cure by Damon Zahariades
    • Nudge by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein
    • The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz & Janet Mills
    • The Everyday Hero Manifesto by Robin Sharma