Don't be a stranger to your lists

One of the things that helps me stay current with my GTD system and not have the Weekly Review feel like a major renovation, is that I review my Next Actions lists whenever I feel like it and as often as I can.  Whenever I coach people who have slipped out of regular reviews (call it daily quick scans and weekly thorough reviews) I see them start to triage all of the “important stuff” onto their Calendar, which they know they will look at.  Then the calendar becomes an fuzzy merge of the stuff that really belongs on the calendar (time-specific and day-specific) with the “stuff-I-put-on-the-calendar-so-it-doesn’t-get-lost-on-a-list.” Inevitably, they find themselves carrying things over from day to day just to keep it alive.

Do you need to review every list every day? Of course not. But use those weird windows of time that show up in your day to pop over to a list for a little visit. You might start to find it’s like meeting up with a good friend who is happy to see you.

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3 Responses to “Don't be a stranger to your lists”

  1. I’ve found that since I added Omnifocus to my iPhone, I can do those on-the-fly reviews wherever and whenever I have a few minutes of time. It’s been helpful for staying engaged and current. ~Heidi

  2. Stephen Williamson says:

    I make sure that my next actions are those that I need to do today or tomorrow at the latest. Most other actions are either later of calendar actions. I then review only my next actions every day. Also, every day I have in mind my main goals and visions in order to see how my next actions are taking me further towards completing my goals.

  3. I found myself letting my lists bleed onto my calendar, and since I use Google Calendar (to sync with my Droid), that was messy. I’ve finally gotten the habit of only putting date specific actions on there and deadline reminders.

    One additional, related step I’m now practicing is moving actions from my Action lists to a Someday list. I keep a separate Someday/Maybe list as well. My Someday list is stuff I want to do, but don’t need quickly. My Action lists can get quite long, and this was a way to avoid them from getting too long. When they got too long, stuff would start bleeding onto my calendar because as Kelly mentioned, I knew I would look at it.

    I realized I was putting a lot of stuff in an Action list, but it was low priority and I only knew that by looking at the item several times and skipping to something else more urgent. For me, it then becomes a Someday item and my Action lists become cleaner!

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