"Mastering Productivity: Overcoming Procrastination and Getting Things Done"


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 10, 2023

3 min read


"Mastering Productivity: Overcoming Procrastination and Getting Things Done"


In our journey towards productivity, we often find ourselves stuck in a loop of inaction. The fear of starting can be paralyzing, preventing us from making progress. As Steve Shipley, author and productivity expert, wisely said, "The scariest moment is always just before you start." However, once we take that initial step, we unlock the floodgates of progress and open ourselves up to a world of possibilities. In this article, we will explore the common barriers that hinder us from starting and delve into the practical solutions offered by the acclaimed "Getting Things Done" (GTD) methodology. By incorporating these actionable steps into our lives, we can overcome procrastination and achieve our goals.

The Power of Starting:

Nike's famous slogan, "Just Do It," perfectly encapsulates the essence of productivity. Nothing can be accomplished until we take that first step. As Shipley and Nike suggest, executing even the simplest activities to start can have a profound impact on our motivation and progress. This idea aligns with the principles outlined in James Clear's book, "Atomic Habits," where he emphasizes the significance of small actions in building positive habits. By initiating even the most basic tasks, we create momentum and develop a sense of accomplishment that propels us forward.

The GTD Methodology:

David Allen, the mastermind behind the GTD methodology, recognized the limitations of relying on our minds to store information. He believed that our brains are better suited for processing rather than retaining information. The GTD method comprises five fundamental practices to systematize our thoughts and enhance productivity:

1. Capture Everything:

To declutter our minds, we must capture any fleeting thoughts or tasks that arise throughout the day. By immediately storing these ideas, to-dos, and recommendations in an inbox, we free up mental space for more critical thinking.

2. Clarify:

Once we have gathered all our captured information, we must process it into clear and actionable steps. This process involves breaking down tasks into manageable pieces and identifying any projects that require multiple steps to complete.

3. Organize:

With our tasks clarified, it is essential to categorize and sort them into the appropriate places. Grouping tasks based on our areas of focus enables us to prioritize and align our actions with our broader life goals.

4. Review:

Regularly reviewing and updating our task lists is crucial for maintaining an effective GTD system. This practice allows us to adapt to changes, identify next actions, and reflect on our workflow.

5. Engage:

The ultimate goal of the GTD methodology is to engage with the important tasks and projects that emerge from our organized system. By having concrete, actionable items at our disposal, we can tackle them with focus and efficiency.

Actionable Advice:

To put the insights of Shipley and the GTD methodology into practice, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

1. Embrace the Power of Starting:

Overcome the fear of beginning by breaking tasks into smaller, manageable steps. Start with the simplest ones, as they can serve as a catalyst for progress.

2. Implement the GTD Methodology:

Adopt the GTD practices of capturing everything, clarifying tasks, organizing them into relevant categories, reviewing regularly, and engaging with your chosen actions. Create a reliable external system to store and manage your tasks.

3. Prioritize and Focus:

Regularly review your task lists and align them with your areas of focus. Identify the most important tasks and allocate dedicated time to work on them. Avoid multitasking and maintain a singular focus to maximize productivity.


Overcoming the inertia that stops us from starting is the first step towards increased productivity and achieving our goals. By following the insights of Steve Shipley and implementing the GTD methodology, we can break free from procrastination and create a system that empowers us to take action. Remember, the scariest moment is just before you start, but once you do, the possibilities are endless. So, take that leap, embrace the power of starting, and watch as your productivity soars.

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