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A question on the basics of Next Actions

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  • A question on the basics of Next Actions

    I have a project requiring 5 actions in order.
    I know the first one to be done is a Next Action (place on NA list)
    What are the others and where do I store them.

    Thanks for any help getting around this mental block.

    Scott.

  • #2
    It depends...

    Originally posted by sstrauss
    I have a project requiring 5 actions in order.
    I know the first one to be done is a Next Action (place on NA list)
    What are the others and where do I store them.
    If you know you can generate the next next action without trouble, you don't have to worry about keeping those later actions anywhere in particular. When you've done with the first action, you'll know what the next action is, and you can add put it on your list or do it right away.

    If it would take some work to determine those next actions on the fly, you can write them down and file that list as project support materials.

    I go back and forth between methods myself -- usually I can pick the next action on the fly, but sometimes I sketch out a brief plan and file it as project support.

    Where you keep your project support materials is up to you -- I keep mine in the front of my reference file, separated by some leftover hanging folders.

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    • #3
      If the actions are concurrent, for example making five phone calls, you might want to put them all on your NA list.

      If the actions are dependent, by which I mean that you can't do the second one until you complete the first one, then you might put the whole list in the support materials for the project.

      My system (ResultsManager) merges NAs and project lists. I would put all of the actions in at once as subitems under the project. Then I would use filters to hide actions that I can't actually do yet.

      Katherine

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      • #4
        I only list the Next Actions I can actually do. If a project is chronological, then I just write down the Next Action when I stop working on the project (sometimes I complete more than one step at once). Having the next action written down just makes it easier for me to pick it up and start working again.

        I prefer my projects lists to only be those projects which have next actions that can be done simulatenously. I would rather discipline myself to write down the next action than to have to go through all my projects and have to think about where the next action is written - way too much mental work for me!

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