Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Quotes From Making It All Work by David Allen

Since I mentioned time management earlier (still working on the book list), and since I happened to come across these quotes this week in a notebook where I'd scrawled them down before returning the book to the library, I thought I'd share them.  David Allen is the author of Getting Things Done as well, which in my opinion is the one you'd want to buy of these two if you're only going to buy one.  I've only bought Getting Things Done at this point.  I'm glad I looked at Making It All Work, if only for the quotes, but felt Getting Things Done was what I needed, since it explained the system.  Really I don't recall many details from Making It All Work, so I can't give you much to go on besides that.  It was enjoyable to look through, but I found it not as technically useful as the first and I didn't spend a long time looking at it before it had to go back to the library.  Lame review, sorry.  But here are many of the quotes I wrote down, and you might find more gems if you decide to check out Making It All Work.  It was good for me to go through these, and I hope you enjoy them.

"The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order." ~ Alfred North Whitehead

"Just as the tumultuous chaos of a thunderstorm brings a nurturing rain that allows life to flourish, so too in human affairs times of advancement are preceded by times of disorder.  Success comes to those who can weather the storm."  ~ I Ching

"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin.... But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid.  The life would begin.  At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."  ~ Alfred Souza

"If I'm not using or needing or wanting a map, five things are true:
  1. I know where I am.
  2. I know where I want to go.
  3. I know how to get from where I am to where I want to go.
  4. I haven't run into a detour or unforeseen change in the route.
  5. I'm aware of all the possible interesting, cool, creative options available on my route." ~ David Allen
"When you focus, you filter out:  that is the very nature of our consciousness."  ~ David Allen

"If you don't pay attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves."  ~ David Allen

"Before you try to change something, increase your awareness of it." ~ David Allen

"Waiting for clarity is like being a sculptor staring at a piece of marble, waiting for the stature within to cast off the unneeded pieces.  Do not wait for clarity to spontaneously materialize -- grab a chisel and get busy!" ~ Steve Pavlina

2 key questions:
  • "What's my desired outcome?"
  • "What's the next action?"
"For the first 25 years of my life, I wanted freedom.  For the next 25 years, I wanted order.  For the next 25 years, I realized that order is freedom."  ~ Winston Churchill

"Wherever we find orderly, stable systems in Nature, we find that they are hierarchically structured, for the simple reason that without such structuring of complex systems into sub-assemblies, there could be no order and stability -- except the order of a dead universe filled with a uniformly distributed gas."  ~ Arthur Koestler

"Learn to pause... or nothing worthwhile wiill catch up to you." ~ Doug King

"Extreme busyness, whether at school or college, kirk or market, is a symptom of deficient vitality."  ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

"The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation." ~ J. Bronowski

"The hand is the cutting edge of the mind." ~ J. Bronowski

"Everything is created twice -- first mentally, then physically."  ~ Greg Anderson

"Either you focus, or you hit something really hard." ~ Jeff Gordon

"Thought is useful when it motivates action and a hindrance when it substitutes for action." ~ Bill Raeder

"Nothing is more revealing than movement." ~ Martha Graham

"It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities." ~ E. C. McKenzie

"Nothing contributes so much to tranquilizing the mind as a steady purpose -- a point on which the soul may fix its 'intellectual eye.'" ~ Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

"The world isn't interested in the storms you encountered, but whether or not you brought in the ship." ~ Raul Armesto

"Those who face that which is actually before them, unburdened by the past, undistracted by the future, these are they who live, who make the best use of their lives; these are those who have found the secret of contentment." ~ Alban Goodier


  1. I love good quotes...and those are all great!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Have a good day!