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The Simple Dollar

Making It All Work – In Closing…

This is the final entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen.

By Guest blogger / December 28, 2010

'Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and the Business of Life,' David Allen, Penguin Group (USA), December 2008, 256pp.

Penguin Group (USA)


I’ve really enjoyed writing this series. It’s given me an opportunity to think deeply about this book and about some of the ongoing concerns and areas of focus in my own life from a bit of a different perspective than before.

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Before I give my final thoughts on this book, though, let’s start off with the reason many of you will bookmark this post.

Everything That Came Before
Here are links to the previous nineteen entries in this series so you can go back through the series at your own convenience.

From Getting Things Done to Making It All Work
The GTD Phenomenon
The Process
The Fundamentals of Self-Management
Getting Control: Capturing
Getting Control: Clarifying
Getting Control: Organizing
Getting Control: Reflecting
Getting Control: Engaging
Getting Control: Applying This to Life and Work
Getting Perspective
Getting Perspective on the Runway: Next Actions
Getting Perspective at Ten Thousand Feet: Projects
Getting Perspective at Twenty Thousand Feet: Areas of Focus and Responsibility
Getting Perspective at Thirty Thousand Feet: Goals and Objectives
Getting Perspective at Forty Thousand Feet: Vision
Getting Perspective at Fifty Thousand Feet: Purpose and Principles
Getting Perspective: Gracie’s Gardens Revisited
In the Real World

Some Final Thoughts
I’ve now read the entirety of Making It All Work four times, on top of several readings of Allen’s other books. What have I taken away from all of that reading?

For me, five key things float to the top of all of this detail.

A good life connects the generic “meaning of life” to the little things you do every day
There was a time in my adult life where there was a great disconnect between the things I did every day and the bigger picture I had of my life. I went through the day spending money on unimportant objects and experiences, doing unimportant things, and filling my hours with unimportant activities. At the end of the day, I’d feel completely unfulfilled, but I’d wake up and repeat that day. I kept believing that all of my big dreams would be fulfilled by my “future self,” but that “future self” was a figment of my imagination.