David Allen’s Year-End Inventory

All would-be Life Improvers –and this time of the year, ain’t we all?– should at least know the name and skim the works of David Allen, whose book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity contains  ideas that will help anyone, whether or not you adopt his fairly complicated system whole-hog. I haven’t swallowed it all, but Allen tips like the Two-Minute Rule, the Next-Action Habit, and the 43 Folders have kept my life from sliding into the maw of chaos over the past several years.

Here’s how The David, as Davidites call him, suggests we end 2009 and stride into 2010. Again, no need to answer all the questions, but you’ll find a few here that should resonate. For testimonials from a number of Davidites, see my 2006 magazine article. (Sorry about the awkward formatting.)

Completing and Reviewing 2009

Review the list of all completed projects.
What was your biggest triumph in 2009?
What was the smartest decision you made in 2009?
What one word best sums up and describes your 2009 experience?
What was the greatest lesson you learned in 2009?
What was the most loving service you performed in 2009?
What is your biggest piece of unfinished business in 2009?
What are you most happy about completing in 2009?
Who were the three people that had the greatest impact on your life in 2009?
What was the biggest risk you took in 2009?
What was the biggest surprise in 2009?
What important relationship improved the most in 2009?
What compliment would you liked to have received in 2009?
What compliment would you liked to have given in 2009?
What else do you need to do or say to be complete with 2009?

Creating the New Year

What would you like to be your biggest triumph in 2010?
What advice would you like to give yourself in 2010?
What is the major effort you are planning to improve your financial results in 2010?
What would you be most happy about completing in 2010?
What major indulgence are you willing to experience in 2010?
What would you most like to change about yourself in 2010?
What are you looking forward to learning in 2010?
What do you think your biggest risk will be in 2010?
What about your work, are you most committed to changing and improving in 2010?
What is one as yet undeveloped talent you are willing to explore in 2010?
What brings you the most joy and how are you going to do or have more of that in 2010?
Who or what, other than yourself, are you most committed to loving and serving in 2010?
What one word would you like to have as your theme in 2010?

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