One of the most life-changing books Ive ever read is "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. Published in 2001, this modest little book on time management has spawned a passionate community of followers ("the cult of GTD") and has thoroughly re-invented the way thousands of knowledgeable workers tackle their day-to-day business.
At its core, GTD says we are doing ourselves a disservice by endlessly writing and re-writing to-do lists. Instead, it advocates building one comprehensive list of projects every "open loop" in your life that requires some action by you, whether at the office or in the gym or at home and then breaking each project down into the smallest manageable steps needed to move it along.
The result? Instead of a daunting list of projects that seems impossible to tackle, you have a hierarchical system of smaller tasks, each of them simple enough to do in a single sitting. Set em up, knock em down.
GTD has been a major factor in my approach to work for several years now. For me, it is the best way to accomplish the things that I want to do. But central to this or any other system of time and project management is the initial research the discovery phase that reveals what projects need to be tackled, and which open loops need to be closed.
In this guide, we explore the big-picture steps of planning a digital signage deployment. They are complex projects with lots of moving parts and potential "gotchas," so having the major milestones marked off will help enormously as you attempt to break them down into smaller, manageable goals.
"In training and coaching thousands of professionals, I have found that lack of time is not the major issue for them (though they themselves think it is)," Allen writes in his book. "The real problem is a lack of clarity and definition about what a project really is, and what the associated next-action steps required are. Clarifying things on the front end, when they first appear on the radar, rather than on the back end, after trouble has developed, allows people to reap the benefits of managing action."
Hear, hear. I dont know about you, but I have enough trouble as it is, and have no desire to incubate more. Thoughtful project planning, paired with intentional action, is the answer.
Id like to thank Diversified Media Group, whose kind sponsorship of this guide allows us to provide it to you at no charge.
James Bickers, editor, Retail Customer Experience