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Do you have a @Next Action Category set?

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  • Do you have a @Next Action Category set?

    Hi,

    I am fairly new to GTD. I tried early on to set many of my tasks to a @Next Action category, but I noticed that when I had my view set to only those tasks, I didn't get ANYTHING done. It didn't have the location-specific breakdown, etc. so it was simply confusing to me.

    Do you use that category? if so, how do you manage it?

  • #2
    My implementation of GTD is maturing, but at this point, I'm putting Next Actions in their appropriate context...@Calls, @Email, @Office..etc. I'm reviewing my projects list to ensure that I have everything accounted for under each context...i.e. if the next action is a phone call, is that under @Calls?

    Hope that helps you.

    Grant

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    • #3
      Having an @NextAction category seems to me to be missing the point. If it isn't a next action, why is it on the list at all?

      Katherine

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kewms
        Having an @NextAction category seems to me to be missing the point. If it isn't a next action, why is it on the list at all?

        Katherine
        Here is my "workaround" What I do to label next actions is in each category, I simply change the priority from normal to high which designates a next action for me. I am not saying it's right. Just saying it works better for me than having a NextAction category.

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        • #5
          Are you using Microsoft Outlook? It is not clear what you are asking? I have used several categories in Outlook, such as @calls or @home.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Brad
            Here is my "workaround" What I do to label next actions is in each category, I simply change the priority from normal to high which designates a next action for me. I am not saying it's right. Just saying it works better for me than having a NextAction category.
            If you're going to put next actions you're willing to take in one area, and actions you're not willing to take, until they become a priority, in another area, then the latter should be called "Someday/Maybe."

            An action list is motivating to the extent that it contains only items that you're not only able to do, but willing to do. Last night I noticed a next action on my list to "Test scanner." I have an HP multifuction printer/copier/scanner, and I felt I wasn't utilizing the scanner functionality as much as I could. But this item had been on my list for three weeks, and I clearly had everything I needed to take the action. Then it occured to me that I wasn't taking the action because I didn't really have anything I needed to scan! So I moved the item to Someday/Maybe, and felt a huge relief, knowing that I would take the action when a relevant context emerged.

            So if you're not working off your list, it may be time to review your purpose for what you've put there. Instead of asking whether the action is a high priority, ask yourself if you're going to do the action at all. If you're not willing to commit to doing it as soon as possible, but you don't want to lose the option to do it later, drop it in Someday/Maybe. Your brain will let it go once you've decided not to decide about it instead of deciding to do what you're not willing to do.

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            • #7
              Great point...

              Originally posted by Gameboy70
              If you're not willing to commit to doing it as soon as possible, but you don't want to lose the option to do it later, drop it in Someday/Maybe. Your brain will let it go once you've decided not to decide about it instead of deciding to do what you're not willing to do.
              This is so what I needed to hear. Thanks!

              I can move sooooooo many things to Someday/Maybe now. Duh!!!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by airolg
                This is so what I needed to hear. Thanks!

                I can move sooooooo many things to Someday/Maybe now. Duh!!!

                Me too. My someday/maybe list is about to go from a handful of things to a very large number of things. Only last week did I get everything out of my head and into outlook. I've been kind of overwhelmed with the idea of the weekly review and next action items for my huge number of projects. After reading this thread (I had just about decided this way on my own) I realized how many of my projects are really someday/maybes. Thanks!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gameboy70
                  If you're going to put next actions you're willing to take in one area, and actions you're not willing to take, until they become a priority, in another area, then the latter should be called "Someday/Maybe."
                  Wow Gameboy, that concept is so simple, yet very applicable for me. I know now that I've had multiple NAs before that have disrupted my progress, but it was because it was more of a someday/maybe than a NA.

                  Thank you very much Gameboy70.

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                  • #10
                    for more on @Next Actions

                    For additional discussion on this topic, see the thread What @actions do you use? at http://www.davidco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3691.

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                    • #11
                      my current @actions
                      • agenda
                      • anywhere
                      • cancelled -- Because Outlook Task status values don't include (and can't be extended to include) a 'cancelled' status. Otherwise, I wouldn't need it as an @action category.
                      • computer
                      • document -- Something that's completed and just needs to be documented (e.g., results).
                      • email
                      • event -- actually a subset of someday/maybe
                      • expired -- Because Outlook Task status values don't include (and can't be extended to include) an 'expired' status. Otherwise, I wouldn't need it as an @action category.
                      • home
                      • idea -- actually a subset of someday/maybe
                      • internet
                      • monthly
                      • office
                      • out-and-about
                      • purchase
                      • read
                      • report status -- something to include in a status report
                      • scheduled -- same as @Deferred
                      • telephone
                      • waiting

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