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Next-Actions VS Someday/Maybe - Everything has an action!

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  • Next-Actions VS Someday/Maybe - Everything has an action!

    We're getting our GTD system up & running this week, and it really seems like the perfect solution for us-... but we have some BIG questions we would REALLY appreciate some help with! :s

    After collecting, we got about 500 things each in our inbox.

    Our challenge is that we don't know how to seperate Next Actions & Someday/Maybe lists...

    We feel like we can take a next action on everything! Should all 500 things go in the Next Action List?

    ~Knut

  • #2
    Just because you can take action on something doesn't mean you should. You should already have a job description and a projects list worked out with your boss, if not you need one. Most importantly, defining what NOT to do is just as important in order to say no to the things that aren't important. Get clear on your horizons of focus, if you aren't sure about something, put it on the agenda list to clarify whether you should respond or not. And not everything in your inbox will be a next action, there should be plenty of reference, read/review and project support as well.

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    • #3
      Are you implementing GTD as a team work solution?

      Originally posted by knuteknut View Post
      We're getting our GTD system up & running this week, and it really seems like the perfect solution for us-... but we have some BIG questions we would REALLY appreciate some help with!
      You are writing in plural. Are you implementing GTD as a teamwork solution?

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      • #4
        To me the collection is one of the big benefits of GTD, because it lets you see all the things that you have nominally committed yourself to do. In fact in the book David says a lot of people stop right there!

        Not sure from your post if these 500 actions are all for one person or if this is a group effort, but in the end that's not important. What is important is to think about what can really be done, what you really want to do in the next reasonable period of time. Put the rest on someday/maybe lists. And is you have enough to make it worthwhile, maybe even have 2 lists -- one for someday (those you know you want to do, eventually) and some that are just ideas you don't want to forget about (eg. maybe)

        Personally I found that with several hundred items on my someday/maybe list I don't want to review that list at each weekly review, so I review that list monthly and have created a new list "someday soon" that are items I want to think about doing weekly because I've already decided there's a higher probability I'll do them in the near future.

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        • #5
          Remember you can always decide, consciously, to let something go. Certainly splitting between next action and someday/maybe is important, but also challenging whether it's something you ever want to do is important.

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          • #6
            Put all Next Actions you can do on active action lists. It's going to be 500 options for you to consider, that's true. But that's life. Don't limit your life and your choices. Start at any point of your action list and do. See the results coming

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            • #7
              You can start by putting them all on your actions lists, (sorted by context),
              and if you start feeling
              that you don't enjoy reviewing such a long list all the time, then you can
              move some items to "someday/maybe" by asking yourself, "Do I want to
              keep re-reading this item every day this week?" Remember that "someday/maybe"
              can mean things you'll do next week; it doesn't have to be a big demotion of the action.

              Remember that anything you definitely plan to do,
              that takes less than 2 minutes and can be done right now where you are,
              you do right away, rather than putting it on a list.

              What I actually do is sort my actions by energy and importance,
              so I don't have to review the whole list frequently, just the most
              important actions. It's like having gradual levels from next-action
              to someday-maybe.

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