David Allen quotes - Next Action Associates

David Allen

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

“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.”

“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.”

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

“You can do anything, but not everything.”

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

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

“You can do anything, but you can’t do everything”

“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.”

“It is a tricky business to know when you should set goals and objectives in order to achieve a focus, and when you would be better off dealing with the acceptance and management of your current reality so you can later step into new directions and responsibilities with greater stability and clarity. Only you will know the answer to that, and only in the moment.”

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

“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.”

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

“You can do anything, not everything”

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

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