Tired of that same old technique? Try these 7 Getting Things Done alternatives

Do you feel like you are constantly stretching your mind to remember everything that you need to get done in the day? If so, you may have heard of the getting things done (GTD) method of productivity. It helps some people unlock their full productive potential by making it possible for them to keep lists of literally everything that they need to get done. However, there are plenty of people who are looking for some get things done alternatives as well. Read on to learn more about some of these alternatives.


What is the GTD Method?

The GTD method was developed by a man named David Allen who wanted to try to store all of the various tasks that he needed to complete for the day in one place. He decided that it was best to try to keep a running list of the various tasks that he had assigned to himself in order to keep it all available at any time. He felt that the only way to cross things off his list and truly make progress was to keep that list going and to make it as easy as possible to access when he needed it.

Plenty of people have subscribed to this method of productivity, and there are even a collection of apps that you can use on your phone for this method if you are so inclined. However, some people have found they get things done method too challenging, and they are interested in GTD alternatives.


Is GTD Too Complicated?

There are some who say that the GTD method is simply too complicated for their liking. They aren’t pleased with it because they feel that the GTD method simply does not address the issues with productivity that they have.

decluttering brain and lfie

The GTD method forces them to write down all that they need to get done. This can promote the feeling of always being behind, and that does not necessarily spur the kind of actions that people need to take if they are to make progress on their goals. As such, some say that the GTD method is too complicated for them, and they would prefer an alternative.


7 GTD Method Alternatives

1. Time Mapping

Tired of trying to figure out how to structure your day so that you get the most important things out of the way first? Always ending your days feeling like you are behind the 8-ball because there are tasks left undone? If that sounds like you, then you need to consider the time-mapping method.

The time mapping method calls upon its users to draw up all of their activities (similar to GTD), and then separate them into various blocks of time when they will get them done. Adhering to this method precisely will allow you to actually accomplish what you set out to accomplish, and it will help you avoid time-wasters that could cause you to fall further behind on your goals. If you want to avoid that outcome, make sure you consider the time mapping method to assign certain types of work for certain times of the day.


2. Eat The Frog

Getting the most burdensome tasks knocked out of the way first is how some people prefer to go about their day. They realize that if they can simply take care of those tasks that are bothering them the most, then they will make a lot more progress toward their eventual goal of getting everything done.

Eat the frog is a method based on the concept of taking on the most unpleasant task (such as eating a frog) off of your to-do list first. If you focus on those tasks that you really don’t want to handle, then you can spend more time doing the things that you truly want to do later on. Reward yourself with some well-earned free time by using eat the frog to knock out the most troublesome tasks first.


3. Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro technique has picked up in popularity with many people who see how it can lead to incredible results for themselves as well. What they see with the Pomodoro technique is the fact that they can work in concentrated spurs in order to focus as much energy as possible on the things that really matter.

pomodoro technique timer

This technique is particularly useful for people who work from home as they may find it is very easy to get distracted by all of their possessions at home and not be able to do all that they need to do. There are various Pomodoro timers that one can use online, or they can opt for one of these cute vegetable-shaped ones (Pomodoros are a type of tomato).


4. The Seinfeld Technique

One Pomodoro alternative that you might want to try comes from Jerry Seinfeld, the incredibly famous comedian known for his jokes and observations about the world. He has built an incredible career for himself and amassed plenty of money as a result of his hard work and ability to make an audience laugh. What may seem effortless for Seinfeld is actually the product of a lot of hard work and diligence.

The method that the comedian uses to help keep himself on task and constantly improving is something that has come to be known as the Seinfeld technique. He prints off a large calendar with 365 squares on it, one for each day of the year. He then hangs that calendar up on a wall and puts a red X on each square when he sits down and writes some comedy that day. His goal is to try to create a chain of X’s that stretch for as long as he can make them stretch. He hopes that by doing so he can push himself to write as much as he needs to in order to create the kind of comedy that people will want to see and hear. It is a process of continuous improvement, and it has clearly worked out quite well for Mr. Seinfeld.

This technique can be applied to anything that you want to work on. The biggest challenge is just getting started and keeping that streak going for as long as possible.


5. ABCDE Method

Not every task that you do is going to have equal weight with every other task. In your heart of hearts, you know this to be true. However, you must also look at how you can use the productivity tools that you have at your disposal to create a list that makes the most sense for what you are attempting to accomplish as you knock items off the list.

ABC time management methods letters painted on man face

The ABCDE method can help you get there. Items that are most important and urgent go into the A category. A little less important go into the B category, and then you just keep moving down the list like this until you get to the D and E categories. They stand for tasks that you can Delegate and tasks that you can Eliminate. Thus, when used properly, the ABCDE method can actually reduce the total number of tasks that you have to take on throughout the course of your day. If you work as a freelancer or someone else who has to manage their own money and their own day-to-day activities, then this method might be right for you.


6. Biological Prime Time

Did you know that your body is set to be most productive at certain times of the day? The specific times that work best for you are going to vary from person to person, but biological prime time is a real thing. Some people love to get up early in the morning and knock out all of their tasks, but others can’t imagine wanting to do that. Wherever you stand on that debate, you should consider using your specific biological prime time to try to accomplish as much as you can.

It is an alternative to GTD that could help you truly maximize the amount that you do accomplish in your day by utilizing the optimal periods of the day when your brain and body are most ready to handle what is being thrown at them. You can throw the hardest tasks on your list at yourself during this time in order to try to accomplish the things that you know actually need to get done right away. Many have found this to be one of the best ways to get things done without adding extra stress to their life.


7. SMART Goals

There is an old saying that claims that you should work smarter, not harder. The point that is being made by saying this is that it is best to put your efforts into getting a job done right the first time and not into working as many hours as you possibly can. If you get things done right on the first attempt, then you won’t have to worry about working as hard because you will already have accomplished what you set out to do.

list of smart goals on a journal

SMART goals stand for Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time-Related. They are goals that you can have for yourself that you can measure yourself against to see if you are truly meeting your objectives. In other words, are you actually accomplishing everything that you set out to do? If you are reaching those goals, and you doing so in a timely manner that makes everything worthwhile? This is what SMART goals are all about. Watch yourself progress rapidly as you knock off goal after goal.



There is a whole universe of GTD alternatives available to you if you are willing to check them out. Try to see what GTD alternatives can do for you and why you might want to give them a shot if you haven’t already. There is nothing wrong with checking out everything that is available to help you have as productive of a day as possible.

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