Summary of Making It All Work

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Making It All Work book summary

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David Allen’s bestseller Getting Things Done (GTD) taught readers how to gain “focus, control and perspective.” Simply put, this theory taught that if you organize your catalog of commitments and review it systematically, that process will relieve you of the stress and burden of having a chaotic to-do list constantly tugging at your consciousness. This positive self-management approach frees you to tap into your highest capabilities and experience true fulfillment. While the GTD method has attracted an international following, this follow-up doesn’t quite bring it to the next level. Although it is coherent, cohesive and accessible, it relies a good bit on repetition and rehashes a lot of the original work, particularly in the first two chapters, where Allen sells the system. However, for followers who can’t get enough of GTD, and for those who don’t know it yet and hope to get organized, getAbstract recommends Allen’s latest read, particularly the chapters where he articulates the five stages of control and the “horizons of focus.”

About the Author

David Allen is the author of the bestseller Getting Things Done. He is founder and president of a management, coaching and consulting group.


“Getting Things Done”

When you feel as if you have a million things to do and all of them are crying out for your attention, focusing on any one idea is very hard. You feel stressed, overwhelmed and incompetent. The boiling, roiling mass of things on your mind makes it nearly impossible to focus and work efficiently.

The Getting Things Done system (GTD) provides the tools you need to hone in and eliminate distractions. This organizational approach operates under the guiding belief that if you first decide how something affects you and what you need to do about it, then you can process it if you have the right system. Once you implement a system you trust, nothing should tug at your consciousness, because all of your to-do items will be lined up tidily. The GTD approach’s basic principle is, “With a complete and current inventory of all your commitments, organized and reviewed in a systematic way, you can focus clearly, view your world from optimal angles and make trusted choices about what to do (and not do) at any moment.” Using the GTD method according to a clear organizational structure will enable you to elevate your personal and professional life.


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