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Spotlight On: Todd Brown

Spotlight On: Todd Brown

This week we spoke to the co-founder of Next Action Associates, an organisation that helps businesses of all sizes reduce stress and helps them to work more productively by implementing the GTD programme. We caught up with him after a recent seminar in Edinburgh and asked him how it has helped to transform his own life.

When and why did you found Next Action Associates?
My background is in IT, learning and development, however, having had such a positive experience of GTD myself I decided to found Next Action Associates with my business partner to help inform others how it can effectively increase productivity and reduce stress, at work and at home.

What sort of clients do you work with?
We work with a diverse range of clients, from large scale corporate companies such as Nokia, as well as government agencies and smaller businesses. The beauty of GTD is that it is applicable to everyone.

You aim to get people to work smarter, get better results and with less stress. How easy / difficult is it to do this?
It is very easy to take something away from these seminars – even if you implement just 2% of what we teach in the seminars, you’re sure to see the benefits. You don’t necessarily have to overhaul everything to see a difference. GTD is essentially about providing a framework so you can ask yourself ‘What can I do today?’, work productively, and leave work with a clear head.

What would you say is the biggest challenge to productivity in the workplace today?
I believe it is stress – to the extent that people are now acclimated to stress. Through GTD, we show that productivity and stress don’t have to go together.

Tell us more about GTD – how has it changed your life?
GTD has given me the mental clarity which you only get from collating all your thoughts and organising them in one place. It has also given me the confidence that I am progressing toward my goals, in both my professional and personal life. It has also greatly improved my workflow – I can now get more done without the friction.

What do you love most about your job?
I do a mix of seminars, one-on-one coaching, helping clients to implement the GTD programme in their organisation, and meeting with prospective clients. What I love the most is seeing the results – there’s nothing better than receiving an email from a client saying it’s changed their life.

You travel up and down the country with your work – what makes Edinburgh a great place to visit?
I’ve been here several times now and it’s an incredible city. The landscape is so varied and dramatic; the view from the city centre really is spectacular. The architecture is so austere, I find it fascinating. Plus, it doesn’t feel overwhelming like London, it has all the advantage of a city but it’s so compact.

Quick-fire Questions

Describe Edinburgh in three words
Austere, elegant and enticing

What makes Edinburgh a great place to work?
It’s a very inspiring city, there’s so much going on here and it’s got a real buzz. People are interested in making a real difference.

What is your favourite way to unwind after a busy day at work?
I’m a big fan of music so you’ll usually find me listening to jazz.

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Next Action Associates