77+ Top David Allen Quotes On Productivity & Success

77+ Top David Allen Quotes On Productivity & Success

David Allen is a productivity consultant and American author.

He is well known for his creation "Getting Things Done," which is a time management method.

He is also the co-founder of Actioneer, specializing in productivity tools for the PalmPilot.

We've put together an incredible collection of David Allen quotes to read.

Here they are:

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List of Inspiring David Allen Quotes

“Use your mind to think about things, rather than think of them. You want to be adding value as you think about projects and people, not simply reminding yourself they exist.” – David Allen


“If you had just two more hours what would you fill it with? Probably more stickiness like email.” – David Allen


“Perspective and control are the two ingredients to time management.” – David Allen


“Most people feel best about their work the week before their vacation, but it’s not because of the vacation itself. What do you do the last week before you leave on a big trip? You clean up, close up, clarify, and renegotiate all your agreements with yourself and others. I just suggest that you do this weekly instead of yearly.” – David Allen


“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” – David Allen


“A complete and accurately defined list of projects, kept current and reviewed on at least a weekly basis, is a master key to stress-free productivity.” – David Allen


“Sometimes the biggest gain in productive energy will come from cleaning the cobwebs, dealing with old business, and clearing the desks – cutting loose debris that’s impeding forward motion.” – David Allen


“You can’t manage time, you actually only manage what you do during time. So the management issue is not so much about time, it’s more about how do you manage your focus, how do you manage your actions and your activities in terms of what you do.” – David Allen


“In a crisis you are focused on a very specific outcome.” – David Allen


“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” – David Allen


“One missed e-mail, untracked commitment, or decision avoided can have hugely magnified consequences.” – David Allen


“If you don’t fall off the wagon regularly, you’re not playing a big enough game.” – David Allen


“A complete and accurately defined list of projects, kept current and reviewed on at least a weekly basis.” – David Allen


“Everyone of you today are not getting a lot of things done because you are sitting right here.” – David Allen


“You can only feel good about what you’re not doing when you know what it is.” – David Allen


“You can fool everyone else, but you can’t fool your own mind.” – David Allen


“Every decision to act is an intuitive one. The challenge is to migrate from hoping it’s the right choice to trusting it’s the right choice.” – David Allen


“It seems that there’s a part of our psyche that doesn’t know the difference between an agreement about cleaning the garage and an agreement about buying a company.” – David Allen


“It’s hard to be fully creative without structure and constraint. Try to paint without a canvas. Creativity and freedom are two sides of the same coin. I like the best of both worlds. Want freedom? Get organized. Want to get organized? Get creative.” – David Allen


“Most people move actually into high performance in a crisis because that creates the kind of focus that creates high performance.” – David Allen


“You can fool everyone else, but you can’t fool your own mind.” – David Allen


“The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.” – David Allen


“Things rarely get stuck because of lack of time. They get stuck because the doing of them has not been defined.” – David Allen


“Every now and then go away and have a little relaxation. To remain constantly at work will diminish your judgment. Go some distance away, because work will be in perspective and a lack of harmony is more readily seen.” – David Allen


“Your brain has an in-built mechanism for finding patterns you’ve programmed because of where you’ve put your attention. Solutions, innovations, and success come not from greater intelligence or creativity but from what we notice because of where we point those attributes.” – David Allen


“Everything you’ve told yourself you ought to do, your mind thinks you should do right now. Frankly, as soon add you have two things to do stored in your RAM, you’ve generated personal failure, because you can’t do two things at the same time. This produces an all-pervasive stress factor whose source can’t be pin-pointed.” – David Allen


“Almost every project could be done better, and an infinite quantity of information is now available that could make that happen.” – David Allen


“Appropriate engagement is the key. Are you appropriately engaged with your staff, health, spiritual life, etc…?” – David Allen


“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.” – David Allen


“Your ability to generate power is directly proportional to your ability to relax.” – David Allen


“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.” – David Allen


“Martial arts people fight four people at a time by fighting one at a time.” – David Allen


“When we truly need to do is often what we most feel like avoiding.” – David Allen


“At at any point in time, knowing what has to get done, and when, creates a terrain for maneuvering.” – David Allen


“The beginning is half of every action.” – David Allen


“There is an inverse relationship about what is on your mind and getting it done.” – David Allen


“The great secret about goals and visions is not the future they describe but the change in the present they engender.” – David Allen


“The freedom to make a mess starts when you are clean enough to make a mess.” – David Allen


“Einstein had 24 hours. So did Mother Teresa. So did Bach.” – David Allen


“When you are in a crisis there is a kind-of peace that shows up there.” – David Allen


“There are no interruptions, really—there are simply mismanaged occurrences.” – David Allen


“There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but the way out is through.” – David Allen


“Appropriate engagement is the key. Are you appropriately engaged with your staff, health, spiritual life, etc?” – David Allen


“It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.” – David Allen


“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.” – David Allen


“Once a week, do a thorough review of all your projects in as much detail as you need to. If you do, your systems will work. If you don’t, no system will work.” – David Allen


“There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but the way out is through.” – David Allen


“Space is what we are after. Room.” – David Allen


“is a master key to stress-free productivity.” – David Allen


“The value of goals is not in the future they describe, but the change in perception of reality they foster.” – David Allen


“The great secret about goals and visions is not the future they describe but the change in the present they engender.” – David Allen


“Almost every project could be done better, and an infinite quantity of information is now available that could make that happen.” – David Allen


“Anything that causes you to overreact or under react can control you, and often does.” – David Allen


“Things rarely get stuck because of lack of time. They get stuck because the doing of them has not been defined.” – David Allen


“Anything that causes you to overreact or underreact can control you, and often does.” – David Allen


“Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.” – David Allen


“How much does it take to have a good idea? Zero. You don’t need time. You need room in your head.” – David Allen


“Use your mind to think about things, rather than think of them. You want to be adding value as you think about projects and people, not simply reminding yourself they exist.” – David Allen “Sometimes the biggest gain in productive energy will come from cleaning the cobwebs, dealing with old business, and clearing the desks—cutting loose debris that’s impeding forward motion.” – David Allen


“You can do anything, but not everything.” – David Allen


“Chaos is in the world. Not in your head.” – David Allen


“Every one of you today are not getting a lot of things done because you are sitting right here.” – David Allen


“When we truly need to do is often what we most feel like avoiding.” – David Allen


“You can only feel good about what you’re not doing when you know what it is.” – David Allen


“Your ability to generate power is directly proportional to your ability to relax.” – David Allen


“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” – David Allen


“You are most productive when you have freedom to make a mess.” – David Allen


“Every now and then go away and have a little relaxation. To remain constantly at work will diminish your judgment. Go some distance away, because work will be in perspective and a lack of harmony is more readily seen.” – David Allen


“Small things done consistently, in strategic places, create major impact.” – David Allen


“You can do anything, but not everything.” – David Allen


“Getting things done is not about getting things done.” – David Allen


“It seems that there’s a part of our psyche that doesn’t know the difference between an agreement about cleaning the garage and an agreement about buying a company.” – David Allen


“How much does it take to have a good idea? Zero. You don’t need time. You need room in your head.” – David Allen


“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” – David Allen


“You can claim that God is guiding you and revealing to you the answer or solution to your problem. Accept the truth that the nature of Infinite Intelligence is to respond to you, and you will receive an answer without the aid of any man. You can boldly affirm, “I am whole, perfect, strong, loving, illumined, prosperous and inspired.” As you continue to affirm these truths and feel and believe what you claim, without the help or cooperation of anyone, you will express what you feel to be true. Remember, whatever you attach to I AM, you become.” – David Allen


“If you had just two more hours what would you fill it with? Probably more stickiness like email.” – David Allen


“You don’t actually do a project; you can only do action steps related to it. When enough of the right action steps have been taken, some situation will have been created that matches your initial picture of the outcome closely enough that you can call it “done.”” – David Allen


Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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