What is Allen’s Input Processing Technique?

Allen's Input Processing Technique


We come across loads of information every day. This includes voice mails, e-mails, phone calls, invoices, meeting requests, and various documents. You need to tackle these besides your regular goals and targets. Naturally, you need to do everything effectively without letting your productivity suffer in the process. How is this possible? David Allen, the leading productivity expert has suggested an Input Processing Technique in ‘Getting Things Done’ his 2003 book. This refers to a simple procedure that deals with proper management of various inputs.

Input Processing Technique

What is an input? It refers to something that requires your actions. According to Allen, it can be anything that you allow inside the individual physical or psychological world. It doesn't belong where it is currently present and you also haven't determined its desired outcome or subsequent action step. Inputs could be anything ranging from your simple thoughts regarding an upcoming project to documents and e-mails you receive or an invoice that requires payment. So what's the benefit of this tool? Mainly it allows you to take actions quickly regarding the varied inputs you come across. Resultantly, your focus on your objective increases and there are no more worries about missing something important.

It is possible to subdivide this technique into five stages namely,

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