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  • Project Planning / Next Action Granularity

    I think I may be going into too much detail when listing all of the actions required of a particular project.

    Here's an example I am running into right now:

    Objective: Cancel T1 Internet circuit

    I have created a project entitled "Cancel T1 Internet circuit" and in this project I have a bulleted list of the following items:

    - Get latest invoice from accoutant
    - Use invoice to determine the circuit ID that we are cancelling
    - Call <COMPANY NAME> to cancel circuit
    - Verify circuit has been disconnected

    Am I beeing too detailed with the above actions? After creating this project I immediately create a next action entitled "Get latest <COMPANY NAME> invoice from accountant". Chances are, however, that when I obtain this invoice I am going to determine the circuit ID, and call to cancel the circuit all in the same work session, so the 2nd and 3rd actions will most likely never be created. I think I answered my own question here, but just wondered if I was being too detailed when listing project actions.

  • #2
    It's your list. How much granularity do you need?

    You could create a separate action for each step, or you could decide that "cancel T1 line" is such a routine procedure that it's a complete action in itself, and not a project at all. In between, you could work through a checklist, and create an action only if you get interrupted before you finish the list.

    Your list. Your call.

    More generally, I've been reading this board for several months now, and I've seen a lot of posts asking whether a particular implementation detail is ok.

    The answer is always the same: if that detail helps you get things done, use it. If it doesn't, don't. The point is not to have a perfect implementation of the One True GTD system. The point is to have a system that supports your goals.

    Katherine

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    • #3
      Originally posted by iTISTIC
      - Get latest invoice from accoutant
      - Use invoice to determine the circuit ID that we are cancelling
      - Call <COMPANY NAME> to cancel circuit
      - Verify circuit has been disconnected
      Commenting only on efficiency, and not what's "right," the first two items sound like two-minute actions that I wouldn't even bother listing; I would just do them (the call to the accountant might generate a waiting-for). Regarding the last item, "Verify circuit has been disconected" -- what action would you take to accomplish that? If it's a two-minute action, just do it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Gameboy70
        Commenting only on efficiency, and not what's "right," the first two items sound like two-minute actions that I wouldn't even bother listing; I would just do them (the call to the accountant might generate a waiting-for). Regarding the last item, "Verify circuit has been disconected" -- what action would you take to accomplish that? If it's a two-minute action, just do it.
        The last item would really consist of reviewing the next month's bill to be sure we were no longer being charges for the circuit, and verifying the circuit was actually dead. Guess these would be 2 seperate actions, then. Good point. Although these may be 2 min actions, they cannot be performed now. I think it would be best for me to put them on my calendar for a particular day to be completed, right?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by iTISTIC
          The last item would really consist of reviewing the next month's bill to be sure we were no longer being charges for the circuit, and verifying the circuit was actually dead. Guess these would be 2 seperate actions, then. Good point. Although these may be 2 min actions, they cannot be performed now. I think it would be best for me to put them on my calendar for a particular day to be completed, right?
          I usually put this sort of thing in my tickler file, rather than my calendar. But the basic idea is the same: put it somewhere that can be safely ignored until action is possible.

          Katherine

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          • #6
            Can you re-define the purpose of the tickler file again? I don't recall exactly what it's purpose was and how it was used when I listened to the audio book. Maybe this would be better than the calendar if I understood it's purpose correctly.

            Comment


            • #7
              A tickler is a set of file folders, one for each day of the month. You empty one each day into your in-box to process the items that are there. If you want to make a document or task disappear for a while and resurface on a particular future day, you put it into that day's folder. It is the same idea as writing something on your calendar, but it can handle physical documents. I have omitted some of the finer details.

              And FWIW, I think your granularity is fine, although items 2 and 3 could also easily be combined, but if it helps you work through the process to see it all, that is fine too.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Barry
                A tickler is a set of file folders, one for each day of the month. You empty one each day into your in-box to process the items that are there. If you want to make a document or task disappear for a while and resurface on a particular future day, you put it into that day's folder. It is the same idea as writing something on your calendar, but it can handle physical documents. I have omitted some of the finer details.

                And FWIW, I think your granularity is fine, although items 2 and 3 could also easily be combined, but if it helps you work through the process to see it all, that is fine too.
                Yes I'd definitely use my Outlook calendar for these items. Very rarely do I have physical items that need to be dealt with on a particular day. If I do I typically file them where I normally would if they were completed, and when I see I need to act upon them on my calendar I know where to go to get them and act on them.

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