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Offering Payment Plans, Reading for the Human Spirit, & Insights on Clarification

Resource: Getting Things Done by David Allen
Pages: 127-132
Description: In this section, Allen continues to share insights and tips on the process of clarification.


The key question for the clarification process is “What is the next action?”

If an item has no action, there are three categories for what you do with it:

1) Trash — throw it away
2) Incubate — put it in a tickler file or a someday/maybe file (it’s important to review this regularly–at least every month)
3) File for reference — put it in a place that’s easy to find and retrieve when you need it.


“Processing all the things in your world will make you more conscious of what you are going to do and what you should not be doing. One director of a foundation I worked with discovered that he had allowed way too many e-mails (thousands!) to accumulate—e-mails that in fact he wasn’t ever going to respond to anyway. He told me that using my method forced him to “go on a healthy diet” about what he would allow to hang around his world as an incompletion. ”

“Too much information creates the same result as too little: you don’t have what you need, when and in the way you need it. ”

“Because digital storage, without much forethought, has become almost automatic, it is very possible to create an environment of constant input but no utilization. You are creating a library so big and overwhelming, you have limited your capacity to make it functional for the work that’s important for you to do. The key here is the regular reviewing and purging of outdated information, as I suggested in a previous chapter, as well as more conscious filtering on the front end, as you’re processing your input: “Is this really necessary or useful for me to keep, or can I trust that I can access it from the Internet or other sources if I need it?”

“The point of all of these incubation procedures is that they give you a way to get the items off your mind right now and let you feel confident that some reminder of the possible action will resurface at an appropriate time. ”

“You’ll probably discover that there are lots of miscellaneous kinds of things that you want to keep but have piled up in stacks or stuffed into drawers because your reference system was too formal or just plain nonexistent. Let me remind you here that a less-than- sixty-second, fun-to-use general-reference filing system within reach of where you sit is a mission-critical component of full implementation of this methodology. In the fast lane of real life, if it’s not easy, quick, and fun to file something away, you’ll stack or simply accumulate it in “in” instead of organizing. And then it will become much more difficult to keep things processed. ”

“It behooves each of us to experiment, customize, and modify our digital libraries for what works best. The key to keeping it effective will be regular revisiting of our data and how we’re organizing it; and keeping it current and usable. Again, the key driver should be: Do I still have attention on my reference content or system? If so, create a project and next action to unpack that, to get this significant area for you on cruise control. ”

Source: Why We Read: Polish Poet and Nobel Laureate Wisława Szymborska on What Books Do for the Human Spirit


Nearly all recreational activities are ones that require a collective effort. There usually needs to be an audience, or a teammate, or a partner of some kind. Reading, however, is something that can be done alone while still retaining all the liberties and luxuries of the other arts. When you read, you have full control over your experience. You can laugh when it’s inappropriate. You can stop paying attention when you’re bored. You can read silly things or sophisticated things.


““Homo Ludens with a book is free… free — and no other hobby can promise this — to eavesdrop on Montaigne’s arguments or take a quick dip in the Mesozoic.”

“I’m old-fashioned and think that reading books is the most glorious pastime that humankind has yet devised. Homo Ludens dances, sings, produces meaningful gestures, strikes poses, dresses up, revels, and performs elaborate rituals. I don’t wish to diminish the significance of these distractions — without them human life would pass in unimaginable monotony and, possibly, dispersion and defeat. But these are group activities, above which drifts a more or less perceptible whiff of collective gymnastics. Homo Ludens with a book is free. At least as free as he’s capable of being. He himself makes up the rules of the game, which are subject only to his own curiosity. He’s permitted to read intelligent books, from which he will benefit, as well as stupid ones, from which he may also learn something. He can stop before finishing one book, if he wishes, while starting another at the end and working his way back to the beginning. He may laugh in the wrong places or stop short at words that he’ll keep for a lifetime. And, finally, he’s free — and no other hobby can promise this — to eavesdrop on Montaigne’s arguments or take a quick dip in the Mesozoic.”

Resource: Should You Offer a Payment Plan?
Description: Ash Ambirge opines on the topic of pricing plans


As a business owner, your #1 priority is to get paid. If you’re not getting paid for your services, your services, you can’t stay in existence long enough to grow or keep taking care of your customers.

Payment plans are useful, but they should never lead the discussion. Payment plans are a huge liability and they should be brought up as a last resort.

State your full price with confidence and bring it up as if it’s the only option. Don’t choke on your words. Don’t be ashamed of your price. Own it.

Before you offer a payment plan, ask yourself “Do I trust this customer to truly value the service and to pay?”


“from the business owner’s perspective, it’s less than ideal. The $2,000 s/he is owed is now tied up for as far as the eye can see, which means she can’t use that money in the meantime. Which means her cash flow gets cut off at the knees. Which means she can’t grow. Which means that offering a payment plan should not be her first course of action.”

“Make your offer at full price. Stand confident in that price. And do your job well in marketing it and selling it and launching it beautifully at that price. And then, if and only if you feel comfortable taking on the risk, you may wish to reach out to the folks who *are* interested, but haven’t bought yet, to see if you can make it work for them another way.”

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