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All Next Actions Are Completed By The End of The Week, All is Well. . . . But is it?

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  • All Next Actions Are Completed By The End of The Week, All is Well. . . . But is it?

    So I've been doing my weekly reviews at the end of each week, normally Saturday but sometimes implementing the WR a day or two earlier; seeing as it provides better clarity for the upcoming week and boosts my mental horizons towards the upcoming week.

    Now, for the past year and a half my NA's were always bombarded with an array of actions in an array of contexts. Like you, I've fiddled with my contexts and project structuring to discover what works better for me, through trial and error.

    I don't scour this forum too often anymore, but when I do start a new thread it's because of the importance and valuable advice the forum has provided every time in the past. This time, it may be a mental hurdle but nevertheless, here goes:

    For the past few weeks and the past few weekly reviews, my NA's have always been completed; to the point of leaving myself without an NA's to tackle at the end of the week or night. This could be due to the fact that 2010 consisted of a tough school year, with the intended successful outcome of transferring to a UC University this coming Fall 2011, of which was accomplished.

    The past few weeks (& Months) have been somewhat confusing personally seeing as I've always had the notion that its a good thing to have a never ending NA list, suggesting this means I have goals to attain and am not just a sitting duck in front of the couch.

    Truth be told, I've changed the way I approach GTD & Productivity. No longer does EVERYTHING go in GTD for me. The simpler things don't; taking into mind Einstein's making things as simple as possible but no simpler analogy. So I guess the overall question could be, should I revel in the fact that I'm actually getting things done or see this as an opportunity to grasp into new fields and add something totally new, interesting, fun and challenging into my inbox?

    GTD works great for me, so long as I don't think too much about the system itself. I really take to heart DA's saying about trusting the system so as to not have to think about it; something i've been doing with success for the past year.

  • #2
    I think one of the reasons for having lots of next actions in various contexts is so that you always have something constructive to do whenever that context goes live.

    It's a bit like a NetFlix DVD list, where you only get the maximum use from the system if you have enough movies listed that they always have one available to ship to you.

    I like the idea of getting to zero from time to time as it ensures your system is nice and fresh.

    If you have everything under control, meaning that your head is not bugging you with reminders, then it's up to you if you want to chill and just have fun or if you think you'd like to be more proactive. After all, it's never to early to plan your retirement.


    • #3
      It sounds like you create exactly one next action per project, and you create next actions exactly once a week. And if that works, that's dandy, but I don't think that there's any GTD rule forbidding you from creating more next actions during the week, and thereby working more than one action per project per week.

      In fact, almost all of my projects have at least two actions - the first is a real next action, and the last is an action saying, "Write another action" - and there might be more actions in between, though I'm trying to break myself of the habit of overplanning my projects and writing a bunch of actions that may become irrelevant before I get to them. I never actually check off "write another action", it just sits there and reminds me that that project has no next action.

      This is a method that works for me in OmniFocus, my tool of choice; there may be a totally different way that would work for whatever tools you're using.