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How to deal with this situation - a chain of things all connected together

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  • How to deal with this situation - a chain of things all connected together

    So here is my situation.

    I need to tidy my study room in order that I can start some work but I can't tidy until I have some place to put the stuff that I move out - that place is my shed but I can't put it in there until I get rid of a double mattress that is in there.

    I can't get rid of the mattress until I speak to someone about taking it off me and I can't do that until I see if I can get it into my dads car.

    So basically trying to nail my dad down (not literally ) on a time to see if I can get it to fit is stopping me from working. Funny how things connect. Any thoughts

  • #2
    All of this stuff is brainstorming and organizing phase (part of natural planning model) and it would go to Project Support (I personally use mind maps for this), the real doable next action would go to action list. Also make sure you have a Project defined.
    Once the next action is done you could always check Project Support for details/plans/ideas about whats next if necessary.

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    • #3
      Next actions
      @ Calls
      Dad - when can i test if the mattress fits in your car?
      Friends - anyone want a mattress ... AND can pick it up?

      @ Anywhere
      Brainstorm a temporary working place

      ...because, clearly, it's going to take a while to get the room cleared out!

      Originally posted by macgrl View Post
      So here is my situation.

      I need to tidy my study room in order that I can start some work but I can't tidy until I have some place to put the stuff that I move out - that place is my shed but I can't put it in there until I get rid of a double mattress that is in there.

      I can't get rid of the mattress until I speak to someone about taking it off me and I can't do that until I see if I can get it into my dads car.

      So basically trying to nail my dad down (not literally ) on a time to see if I can get it to fit is stopping me from working. Funny how things connect. Any thoughts

      Comment


      • #4
        This is exactly the sort of problem that GTD has helped me solve. The underlying question is "what is the very next action you can do to move this project along?" There can be several next actions that can run in parallel.


        The one you have identified is "pin dad down about car", because you're quite right, you can't tackle the rest of the sequence till you've done that one. But there's nothing to stop you coming up with some alternatives which can be done in parallel e.g. brainstorm alternative arrangements while waiting for dad, see if I can use my bedroom to work in...

        Ruth

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        • #5
          THIS is why I need GTD

          Everytime I need to do something I kept having long links like this. I would get really irritated and overwhelmed! I still really struggle with this, although I am getting better.

          Just a note, do you REALLY need to pull everything out to start? This is something I do frequently and it often bites me in the bum!

          Good luck.

          Comment


          • #6
            Now do it!

            Originally posted by macgrl View Post
            So here is my situation.

            I need to tidy my study room in order that I can start some work but I can't tidy until I have some place to put the stuff that I move out - that place is my shed but I can't put it in there until I get rid of a double mattress that is in there.

            I can't get rid of the mattress until I speak to someone about taking it off me and I can't do that until I see if I can get it into my dads car.

            So basically trying to nail my dad down (not literally ) on a time to see if I can get it to fit is stopping me from working. Funny how things connect. Any thoughts
            Great example of a "backward" planning that I use all the time.

            Good work - you've identified a successful outcome and the very first Next Action.

            Now do it!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Duckienz View Post
              Everytime I need to do something I kept having long links like this. I would get really irritated and overwhelmed! I still really struggle with this...
              Me too! At first I was tempted to think there was something wrong with GTD. But I've come to realize that GTD did not create this problem of dependencies; rather, GTD shed light on this (often annoying) feature of reality.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by macgrl View Post
                I can't tidy until I have some place to put the stuff that I move out - that place is my shed but I can't put it in there until I get rid of a double mattress that is in there. I can't get rid of the mattress until I speak to someone about taking it off me and I can't do that until I see if I can get it into my dads car.
                Too many "I can't" thoughts.
                Think instead "What can I do that doesn't rely on anyone else?"
                -stand up the mattress on its side along a wall, this will make some more space
                -look for an interim place to do work
                -measure the mattress and call Dad and ask him to check if it will fit
                etc
                You could probably come up with several possible next actions

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                • #9
                  I've forgotten where this came from (I didn't invent it), but this person would simplify things by just having one task for both the project and the next action. The body text / support of the project would have the list of to do's, and the task would say:

                  [name of project/goal] >> [next action]

                  when that was finished, [next action] gets replaced by the next next action. It's limitation is there's only one N/A per project, but you are always sure every project has a NA.

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                  • #10
                    Sorry for the delay in replying my computer died but on the plus side I got me a new MacBook Air

                    thanks for your replies. as ever they were very helpful and supportive

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would strongly urge you to challenge the “I can’t until” thoughts as Suelin23 suggests. Think about some alternatives. Start with the very first one: “I can't tidy until I have some place to put the stuff that I move out” how about the hall, or another room, or stacked in a pile, or the wardrobe?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I agree with the last post 100%

                        I have boxed myself in with many elaborate and lovely plans, all spelled out, then lo and behold and a new way appears. My has always said "ask yourself, what is the minimum that needs to take place?". In your case someone needs to take the mattress away. It does not need to be you

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                        • #13
                          I have boxed myself in with many elaborate and lovely plans, all spelled out, then lo and behold and a new way appears.
                          That sounds like poetry.

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