RE: Focus

Bob Tarne, PMP, CSM is an accomplished consultant, speaker, and writer. He is currently an Engagement Manager with IBM as well as an active volunteer with the Project Management Institute. His blog can be found at

David Allen, author of "Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress-Free Productivity," says people can’t — and shouldn’t try — to multitask. Overwhelmed project managers can apply his framework to clear the daily clutter that often distracts them from focusing on the most important tasks at hand.

A project is a complicated endeavor to manage and lead. As a project manager, you have to deal with a myriad of tasks. One minute you might be ordering software to run the project and the next minute documenting requirements from your end-user. To be successful, you have to effectively organize and complete your tasks on a daily basis.
In his book Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, David Allen provides an approach for organizing and completing the tasks that a project manager, or any busy person, faces. The underlying principle, says Allen, is to “get stuff off your mind,” in order to complete tasks efficiently.
Allen gives a fairly broad definition of a project as “an outcome requiring more than one action.” However, the level of planning required to complete a particular project depends greatly on the individual. The natural planning model presented in Getting Things Done is a five-step process: defining the purpose and principles; visioning; brainstorming; organizing; and identifying the next actions.

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