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David's Project Example-Rewiring - Where does the universe of action steps get stored

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  • David's Project Example-Rewiring - Where does the universe of action steps get stored

    I have the below GTD organization

    Project Lists - Spreadsheet
    Project Supporting Material
    Project Actions (all) - Spreadsheet
    Next Action Master - Spreadsheet
    Next Action Master - Email Folder @Action
    Calendar
    Waiting
    Trash
    Etc.

    Thus, during the day I will always be working off my Next Action Master (email folder and spreadsheet) and as I completed next actions I will insert the Next Action which I will copy and paste from the Project Actions Spreadsheet. In the case of my @Action email folder I will move the email from @Action to @Archive

    In Davids book -page 158- called "Getting Things Done" he uses an example of a House renovation and the multiple projects involved such as rewiring. Using the re-wiring project as an example then should I create a spreadsheet called rewiring and list all the associated tasks for the rewiring project ? In my Next Action Master spreadsheet I would then list just 1 next action such as "Call JC Electric for estimate appointment" ?

    My confusion may be is that David stresses that we are to use 8 categories of reminders and materials (trash,someday,reference,projects,project plans,waiting, calendar, and next actions) to organize. Yet for Projects he just focuses on the next action, nowhere in his book do I see how/where I organize all action steps of a project. I understand the next action is key to an efficient work flow process, I just want to make sure I understand the mechanics or the flow of action steps from the Project Action spreadsheet to the Next Actions spreadsheet,

  • #2
    The projects section is covered by the natural planning model, and it does specify an organising stage. Organising isn't specified in a lot of detail, as this is where traditional project management comes in for larger projects (eg gantt charts), or you can just list the tasks and actions for each task that you plan on doing. After you complete a next action, you check the project plan for ideas on what to do next, and put your next action in your NA list.

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    • #3
      The reason for the limited focus on future next actions is that oftentimes its impossible to accurately predict every future action step. Even with something as straight forward as rewiring a house, you cant know every step - suppose you get the hardware store and they're out of wire? Your equipment breaks? You strip the walls and find mould? Or whatever. The next actions you spent all that time creating get shoved aside, or in some cases ditched all together and your time was wasted.

      In situations that are far more fluid and likely to change this becomes even more pronounced. If your job is in an office workplace for example and your project is something like preparing a new prototype, then there's simply no way to know the future Next Actions.

      In GTD the idea instead is that you calibrate and reclalibrate your route to completion at the weekly reviews.

      That said, what can be helpful is to brainstorm out some likely future scenarios, or a few milestones along the way. This can help you know your on the right track, make sure your progressing quickly enough or can help you guard against being unprepared. If you do this as a mindmap, a Gantt or just a list, it generally lives in your project support material.

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