Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.

Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Next Step or Steps

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Next Step or Steps

    Hi All,

    I have recently been reading David's book on getting things done and I have been loosely putting a few things in place for when I have finished in preparation for implementing the system.

    One Question i have been struggling internally with ( im sure there will be more) is with regards to Next Actions on projects. When reading the book I was under the impression that the aim is to get onto your list the very next step that is actionable, however quite often coming out of meetings I find that i have several next steps. Sometimes involving different people. For example I recently had a meeting regarding the development of website. Reviewing the notes on this I came out with the followign actionable points

    1. Change the Description of the Navigation Menu Items (Computer)
    2. Arrange Hard Copy Printout of Old Site Content (Email (delegation))
    3. Get New Content From Colleague (Waiting For)
    4. Look at Hosting Options

    Now this is a simplistic example however all of these are vaild next actions that not only can run in parrallel but if not entered as a next action could easily be forgotten, if not stored in the GTD system and left to my sieve like mind.

    So the question is how should this be handled? add them all as next actions? or have I completely mis understood what the book is saying?

  • #2
    Hi Ian,

    Sounds like you are starting with one of the most useful GTD concepts. Remember it needs to be the very next physical action.

    Yours look good, but I would maybe change:
    2. Email xx to request hard copy of site content

    Also, is 'Look at Hosting Options' a project or should this be a next action 'Web search for Hosting options (Computer)'

    Originally posted by ianselbyuk View Post
    Hi All,

    1. Change the Description of the Navigation Menu Items (Computer)
    2. Arrange Hard Copy Printout of Old Site Content (Email (delegation))
    3. Get New Content From Colleague (Waiting For)
    4. Look at Hosting Options
    Hope this helps

    Comment


    • #3
      I would add them all as next actions immediately.

      When actions can be done in parallel, I still sequence them because there's usually some preference for which ones to do first.

      If there are actions that I do not want to make active immediately, then I create a simple document to act as my Project Support Material. Then my final action will be "Check PSM for Next Actions". This might occur when the earlier actions have some impact on the later actions.

      Comment


      • #4
        It's very common to have several next actions for projects, don't feel like you need to have only one next action.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you all for the responses.

          @PaulK - Paul, i am not sure i was clear in my original post. The point I had is that all of them points were things I need to do off the back of the meeting. The web hosting one aside which I agree is actually a project within the project. The other 3 are all things which can occur at the same time. For instance, I am waiting for someone else in the meeting to provide me with new content, I need to speak with a junior member of the team to print off the old content and I need to physically make the changes to the website navigation.

          The issue I have is should I put all of these onto relevant lists or not. If I dont, then the trusted system is sort of broke and once I have say made the changes to the navigation menu, I would need to remember that i also need to arrange hard copy printouts and that I am still waiting for the new content.

          Hope that makes a bit more sense.

          I am leaning towards the approach Suelin23 and Pxt mention, but until I can get it all sorted in my head, I know I wont be able to trust the system.

          Thanks

          Comment


          • #6
            If they don't depend on anything else, I put them all on the relevant context next action list.

            I understand the attraction of sequencing them as pxt recommends (I am a program manager by profession, so have dozens of project managers delivering parts of the program where sequencing is very important). However, one of the attractions of GTD to me is that I can just work from the context list (eg. @computer) without having to refer back to another list for what is next.

            Up to you to decide what works best. Possibly this depends on what tools you are using, how many actions are on each list and the number/type of dependencies between them.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ianselbyuk View Post
              So the question is how should this be handled? add them all as next actions? or have I completely mis understood what the book is saying?
              In my world I'd create it as a single project in Omnifocus set as a parallel project and add all the truly parallel actions. They will show up in the available actions views of my context lists. The remainder can be put in as a note or as actions or kept as project support. I use Omnifocus for a lot of my project support stuff and only larger projects get a separate paper or electronic folder of materials.

              Comment


              • #8
                "Up to you to decide what works best. Possibly this depends on what tools you are using, how many actions are on each list and the number/type of dependencies between them."

                I like that you bring up the issue of number/type of dependencies, because some projects are easy at first to track and then gets more complex. a project called "setting up painting" in an at home context is easy if you got the painting at home, know where to hang it, got the tools to make a whole i the wall etc.

                if you havent got all these things clear yet, for instanse, havent spoken to your partner about which painting to hang up where (or should we maybe go for a wall-lamp instead? ) or dont have the right tools - then things might get tricky and also the action sequence is more difficult to define. i say:

                if you right from the start see that the current project will most likely not be a straight line - go for only adding next actions to your contexts. if you are pretty confident that youve got a clear direction and order - go for a sequence.

                i personally always go for no sequence since most of my projects are complex and i like the routine of doing the same thing over and over

                all the best, swedishguy

                Comment


                • #9
                  Project Tasks with Dependencies

                  Thank you ‘ianselbyuk’ for starting this thread. I’m new to GTD, having completed the book, taken the many hours to create my giant INBOX, and now processing through it. I have a question on where Project Tasks should go that cannot be done immediately (in parallel) because they’re dependant on the completion of other tasks within the same project. They’re not dependant on other folks (Waiting For). And because Next Actions should be tasks that are truly actionable now (even if associated with different Contexts), where should tasks go that are not Calendar based, are not Waiting for someone, are not actionable at this moment but will be as soon as one or more prerequisite tasks are completed? Should these tasks go in my Project Plans; where, if I’m monitoring the status of such closely, as soon as prerequisite Project task moves to completion, the next series of now Next Actions can move to their Next Action ‘context’ list?

                  An example would be if I needed to paint the house; “Painting The House” might be the Project, but discussing colors with spouse, once decided; researching paint quality & price; then buying supplies; and finally scheduling and doing the job itself, may need to be done in that order. So, I think you can see there’s dependencies between the steps.

                  Thank you all for you insights and recommendations.

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X