Write that phone number down

One of the great things about David Allen’s book Getting Things Done is those little nuggets that you find throughout the book. I was reading a section of the book recently and came across a super piece of advice.

I’m paraphrasing here: When you maintain a list of persons to call, write down the phone number next to the name of the person. This will ensure that you don’t have to look for the phone number when you have some time to call.

I can’t tell you how useful this piece of advice has been for me. It helps to have the number because when you do decide to call (after all the procrastination), having the number at hand instead of having to LOOK for the number is priceless.

Even if you’re not into GTD and don’t maintain @Calls or To-Call lists, you must have some kind of list of people you need to call. Just put the phone number down and you’ll find that your call-making productivity increases.

Hey, the book’s not popular without reason.

PS: Edited this post again after I hit Publish accidentally and posted it before checking. Bah.

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8 thoughts on “Write that phone number down

  1. Total common sense and yet totally useful. The genius of GtD is the psychology. We procrastinate if we don’t have all the info, so put all the info there. We tend to forget things when we need them so place them right in your path so you’ll run into them. Brilliant.

  2. GTD is very good but not great. It is best for folks who are either ignorant (i.e., lack knowledge) or don’t have any real experience. I don’t mean to be negative, I’m merely stating that it is best for folks who need an initial model or framework. It is a bit less useful for folks who already manage their time well.

    I appreciate the principles and underlying psychology. I also like that it can be low tech and it does have flexibility, just as P. A. Monteiro states.

  3. Ouch John. :) I’d like to think that I did have the knowledge and the experience but still found myself struggling at times to manage what I was doing. And when I do use GTD, I tend to find that things fall into place nicely.

    Another reason I like GTD so much is that it’s a practical and doing-oriented method as opposed to a lot of time management which is philosophical for the most part. GTD works well for me but I’m still learning and adapting to the method.

  4. “Ouch John.”

    Sorry! Wasn’t trying to be offensive. Mea culpa!

    “…I like GTD so much is that it’s a practical and doing-oriented method as opposed to a lot of time management which is philosophical for the most part.”

    Totally agree. EXCELLENT point. GTD really is about … GTD.

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