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Barbell Logic

May 23, 2019

Matt and Scott speak with Brett Veinotte of the School Sucks Podcast about David Allen's seminal book about productivity and time management Getting Things Done. Brett is a former educator and test prep coach that now runs the popular, critical School Sucks Podcast examining issues with the public education system, college, and more. Six years ago he began using the GTD method, as it is referred to, to manage what felt like an endless, overwhelming to-do list.


The GTD method is structured in five steps, beginning with a "brain dump," that is, writing down every single thought and idea that is kicking around in your head and storing those in a designated folder. The idea behind the brain dump is to free your mind from the dozens of sprawling ideas that take up space and "bandwidth."


Once these are gathered in a single place, you can begin to decide whether the ideas are actionable or not. Scott actually throws away all the undone items on his to-do list every six months or so and does a fresh brain dump. If he doesn't write down a certain item on the new list (because it wasn't floating around in his mind), it probably wasn't as important as he thought it was. Conversely, things that return to the list probably are more important that he originally estimated.


The full five steps are as follows:

  1. Capture -- collect what has your attention.
  2. Clarify -- process what it means.
  3. Organize -- put it where it belongs.
  4. Reflect -- review frequently.
  5. Engage -- simply do.


You can follow Brett at the School Sucks Project, where he hosts the School Sucks Podcast as well as creates videos and articles about self-education, unschooling, and more. Follow him on IG @schoolsucksproject and subscribe to his YouTube channel School Sucks Podcast too!



Got a question for Matt and Scott? Email us at and we'll answer your question on an upcoming Saturday Q&A!



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