Getting Things Done and Dreams Executed

By Patrick Thean

Patrick Thean & David Allen

dateTue, Jul 17, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

On a recent trip to Amsterdam, I had the opportunity to spend some time with David Allen, author Patrick Thean & David Allenof Getting Things Done. David is the master of personal productivity and organization. I read Getting Things Done more than 15 years ago. Since then, I have been using his ideas to free my brain of clutter and get more of the right things done.
David shared with me that success breeds success. He noticed that people who use his method are already successful people who want to get stronger and better. I shared that we had a similar experience at Rhythm Systems. We noticed the same pattern. Our clients are already successful, and they want to achieve even more. They want to have a way to succeed consistently and have predictable results.

As I reflected on our discussion, I realized the following:

  1. Improvement takes change. Any improvement takes change and new habits. This takes courage and energy. It won’t be automatically done for you. Most people don’t embark on change journeys unless the pain of not changing outweighs the difficulties and pain of changing. 
  2. Everybody wants to achieve greatness. But not everybody has the courage and discipline to do the work to achieve greatness.
  3. We are all very motivated by current and real pain. It is difficult to be motivated by future pain. This is why we need a bias for action.
David also reminded me about the power of purpose and mission when he shared with me that he imagines a world with no problems only projects. Dude, that is tight! He then asked me why I do what I do. I shared that we want to help people and organizations achieve their dreams and goals. He asked me why many times, and I thought, "wow he’s using the five whys on me just like I do with my customers!" We talked about how I believed that execution is the magic or secret ingredient that most companies lack and how this often stops the company from realizing its full potential. And when this happens, dreams do not get fulfilled, they might even die.
I care about dreams because all great movements and crusades start with dreams. Great companies are no different. Somebody had an idea, a dream, that he or she wanted to create and make real. These dreams get translated into vision and goals. This is how dreams get fulfilled. Without the right goals executed well, dreams do not become reality. David smiled and said "OK, Patrick, so for you it’s really all about dreams executed!“ 
Dreams executed! Dude, that’s tight. Thank you David!
Getting dreams executed is not that easy. You need the right method to translate dreams to goals that can be executed, a system to engage and provide discipline to get these goals done well, and often times a coach or consultant to help you develop the right habits in order to succeed.
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Patrick Thean


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