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Weekly review: too much of double checking?

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  • Weekly review: too much of double checking?

    Not sure if I'm doing that right. At my weekly review I open action list and take tge first next action on it. I can say if it's current or not but I can't say if I have a project for it or not. Just don't remember. So I have to go to project list to check. And the same way for each of 30 next actions I have! Then I go to my project list. Take the first project and define a new next action for it. Then I have to go to action lists to doublecheck if I had a next action for this project or not. Too much of double checking. Is it gtd style or I'm missing smth?

    For me it looks logical if at my weekly review I would be spending time balancing my projects and somedays, or creating new projects, not double checking if I have a next action or not.

  • #2
    maybe: n/a to project association, related info with the n/a and one-offs?

    There are a couple of issues here: none of this is really GTD, but a few hints that work for me. Form must follow function--do what works for you .

    I often have to indicate on my action lists what project the action goes with, so I use an abbreviation. Don't over think this if you are a basic person. If you are more of a genius type I imagine you could use something like the Dewey Decimal system.

    The action lists are basically a list of actions based on the projects you intend to move forward within a time frame of something, probably your weekly review, or before you close your summer house, or whatever. Some projects however have a different time frame, so I will put the deadline in along with the short name for the project. Sometimes, also in dealing with " waiting fors" or agenda items, it is also useful to have the date that you initiated communication about the item and when you reminded. In entering all this info you must weigh the cost of that time and thinking against the cost of looking back at your support materials.

    Sometimes it saves time to have the action after the next action in parenthesis waiting as a reminder, such as get approval from Smith for budget for church (photocopy, distribute, refile under Smith and church). In this case, Smith is someone who is likely to call you at a random time and ask you what you did in last meeting with him.)

    Now here is something differentne-offs. Unless you have a team of assistants, there are probably dozens of single items actions you need to do. Maybe they belong on a checklist in a perfect world or maybe that's too much overhead. And, gasp, maybe they could be one-offs (get coffee and and if time permits, do grocery shopping; fertilize plants on window sill and if time permits pluck dead leaves). I would put the one-poffs and one-off pluses on the list in a manner that designates differently from the n/as that support defined projects. Once they are done, they are done. No need to reconnect to your support materials

    Now, my unsolved problem is with the independent actions that support my projects--if I use paper, I can see if I have crossed them if I keep the papers and have the time to search tmy lists. If I use the Palm, I can't seem to find an easy way to see what I have done if I have checked them as done.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Ipatove View Post
      Not sure if I'm doing that right. At my weekly review I open action list and take tge first next action on it. I can say if it's current or not but I can't say if I have a project for it or not. Just don't remember. So I have to go to project list to check. And the same way for each of 30 next actions I have! Then I go to my project list. Take the first project and define a new next action for it. Then I have to go to action lists to doublecheck if I had a next action for this project or not. Too much of double checking. Is it gtd style or I'm missing smth?

      For me it looks logical if at my weekly review I would be spending time balancing my projects and somedays, or creating new projects, not double checking if I have a next action or not.
      This is one of the reasons I keep my lists electronically. I use abbreviations like Jamie describes, and for one-offs or recurring maintenance-type actions, I use an abbreviation for the area of focus they relate to. Then at the WR, I can sort my lists alphabetically and see each task grouped with the project or area of focus it relates to. Checking that each project has a NA and each NA has either a project or an area of focus becomes just a matter of scanning the list checking that each abbreviation appears at least twice (once for the project or area of focus and once for the NA). It really speeds things up.

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      • #4
        This is precisly why I use Tracks (www.getontracks.org), because this webbased software maintains links between projects and actions without any effort from yourself.
        Looking at my action lists, I can see whether it is linked to a project and click on the mark to go to the project.
        When I'm in project view, I see all projects named including the open actions of each (and when it is 0, I should either mark it finished or define a next action), very helpful for my weekly review. Click on the project to see what actions you have completed, defined or define new ones on the go.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ipatove View Post
          Not sure if I'm doing that right. At my weekly review I open action list and take tge first next action on it. I can say if it's current or not but I can't say if I have a project for it or not.
          ...
          For me it looks logical if at my weekly review I would be spending time balancing my projects and somedays, or creating new projects, not double checking if I have a next action or not.
          When you review a next action, the questions are: Why am I doing this? Do I still want to do this? Is there something I should be doing instead? It really doesn't matter that much whether it is linked to a project or some larger goal if you can answer those questions. However, the wording of a next action can provide cues to its connections to other things. For example "Call Bill" is not as useful as "Call Bill re shipping problem with Terra project". Writing good next actions is a learned skill. Of course, there are electronic options that link projects and next actions, but they may not work for you.

          If you go through the weekly review checklist a few times just the way DA laid it out, I am sure you will find value in it. If, after reviewing your calendar and next actions, you are still uncertain as to the status of a given project when you review your project list, that may be a sign you need to track that project more closely. Usually this means via project support material, which can be as simple as a folder or even a note attached to a project.

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