Episode 22: Michael Dolan On Becoming Relaxed And Present By Improving Your Workflow [The Amiel Show]

Everyone wants to know your plans for the Fourth of July.

Michael Dolan has a different question: Will your mind be clear and relaxed enough to enjoy the long weekend? Or is it cluttered with unfinished actions and other “stuff?”

If it’s cluttered, there’s a reason: your mind is not meant to store all the agreements you have with yourself.

That’s why we all need a trusted system for identifying, tracking, and taking action on all this “stuff.”

This, Michael says, is the purpose of workflow coaching–and GTD.


In Episode 22, I welcome Michael back to the podcast to talk through how this works and the practical steps you can take to clear your mind and be present. Michael is just my second return guest (after Jennifer Garvey Berger). When you listen to this interview (and Episode 2), you’ll know why.

Apart from being respected and liked by everyone he meets, Michael brings a rare gift. Of the thousands of productivity experts around the world, Michael is one of the few who takes a truly integral approach. His work is about getting more of the right things done with less stress, but that’s not all. He also helps you bring your whole self to the table so that others feel an invitation to do the same.

That’s why, yet again, I have set aside my envy of his hair–which is much better than I had even in my prime–and decided to share his practical wisdom with you again.


  • 9:30 How you can be complete about being unfinished
  • 13:50 The five phases of workflow
  • 19:00 How to decide what to do in the 22 minutes before your next meeting
  • 22:30 Why the old methods of defining priorities often fall short
  • 27:00 GTD gives meditation a run for the money in producing presence
  • 33:00 The Weekly Review is the uber practice of GTD
  • 37:00 It’s up to us to define our agreements with ourselves
  • 39:00 A story of when processing the inbox reminds someone of what matters most in life

Listen to the Podcast

Tweet a Quote

Regularly give yourself the opportunity to renegotiate agreements with yourself.

–Michael Dolan  Tweet this quote

Explore Additional Resources

Michael Dolan and Truly Productive Leadership

A Summary of Workflow Coaching

GTD Five Steps

GTD Weekly Review (PDF)

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