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Next Actions...?

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  • Next Actions...?

    Maybe it's just me.
    When we put up the Next Actions in our list, do we put all the actions step after step, or just one? Putting just one would be dumb, but that's what is implied in the book. We'll need to keep processing the Projects list everytime we finish an Action.
    What do you guys do?

  • #2
    Damn, sorry.

    Comment


    • #3
      Next Actions

      The idea is to stop looking at whole projects, and start looking ONLY at the next physical actions necessary to move the project forward.

      So, for example i might have a project list for a project called 'cook veggie lasagna'. This list would include the following actions:
      -look up receipe on Google
      -make shopping list
      -pickup ingredients
      -prep pan
      -cut veggies
      etc..

      Now, the idea is that you can't cut veggies until you buy them, and you won't buy them until you know what to buy... sooo...

      i might make one notecard and label it '@Lasagna' and list all the steps to make lasagna. HOWEVER, when referring to Next Action lists we are only referring to the next physical : 'Google recipe.' You cannot go to step two without passing step one, so in essence you only have one actionable item.

      So consider that you probably have more going on in your life than just cooking lasagna, so each of your projects would have their own set of actions to complete them. Rather than overwhelm yourself with a deluge of actions for all of your projects, you would take the next actions from each project and put them on one card labelled '@Next Actions'.

      This becomes a single list of single actions from several projects. Individual projects would still have their own lists, but they would only become a reference point for following steps to put on your NA list once you complete the previous step.

      It comes down to paying attention to one small concise list, rather than overwhelming oneself with too many actions from too many projects.

      So to answer your question, yes... you would just put one. However, that may be 'one' from several different projects on 'one' list.

      For an idea of how i use this, check out this post: http://www.davidco.com/forum/showpos...35&postcount=4

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mOses nOghbaudie
        Individual projects would still have their own lists, but they would only become a reference point for following steps to put on your NA list once you complete the previous step.
        That's how I see it too and this is why I use Excel to (a) list all actions for a project (at least all the actions that I can think of at a time), and (b) then to filter the list using Autofilter, in order to show me only the next action per project. Of course, I make sure that I designate the next action in a separate column in the spreadsheet. Once it's done, I designate another action as the next action.

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        • #5
          Placeholders

          A idea that really helps me with the "next action" concept is that after you complete the NA, you may roll right through several more that are in your project list or are just the next thing to do as you roll with the project. The "next action" is just a "placeholder" or as DA says "a stake in the ground" marking where you left off so you don't have to carry it around in your head.

          Just like a bookmark.

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          • #6
            Say i have a project with many small NA's and I need to complete them all that day. I can't keep updating my NA list after every action. Do I just do it off the project 'action list'?
            Do you guys put your project action list in your projects list or do you keep it separately?

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            • #7
              If you think about it all projects have small NA's. The suggested answer would be to not list all NA's on the NA list. Only the Next Action. Once the project is "cooking" you just move from one task to the next to the next....And when you pause for the day or to move on to another project you would Then put the next action on your list.

              Some people have the need to check-off everything they do and if you have that need--write down each task and check it off when done. But that isn't the GTD way.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jetru
                Say i have a project with many small NA's and I need to complete them all that day. I can't keep updating my NA list after every action. Do I just do it off the project 'action list'?
                Sure. Why not? The point is to Get Things Done, right?

                Originally posted by jetru
                Do you guys put your project action list in your projects list or do you keep it separately?
                Actions related to a project are project support materials, and go with all other project support materials.

                I don't mean to pick on you, jetru, but I'm having trouble understanding why this topic keeps coming up. It just isn't that hard.

                1) You plan a project in as much detail as necessary to get it out of your head. The results of that planning are project support materials and should be filed in a readily accessible place. You identify the very next physical action to move the project forward, and put it on your Next Action list. (If there is more than one immediately doable action, it's okay to put all of them on the list. The GTD Police won't arrest you, I promise.)

                2) Later, you sit down to work on the project. You do the Next Action(s). If you still have time and/or motivation, you open the project support folder, see what else needs doing, and either do it or note it on your Next Action list.

                3) At Weekly Review time, you look at your active projects and make sure none of them are stalled. If they are, return to step 1 and figure out how to get them unstalled. Repeat until you either achieve the desired outcome or decide it is no longer important.

                Remember folks, the idea is to get work done, not to develop the best most superfabulous most up-to-date GTD implementation on the planet.

                Katherine

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