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When to create NAs for projects?

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  • When to create NAs for projects?

    Hey guys, I have another newbie question that will probably seem terribly obvious to you veterans.

    What is the best way to record the next action after you check off an action in a multi-step project?

    Do you do it immediately, or do you throw the fact that you completed the action into the in box to process, or wait for a review.

    For instance, if I have a project 'Check order status', and my next action is 'email assistant asking to check order'. Once I email my assistant, do I then try to figure out what the next step is for the project? I don't think I can wait a week for the weekly review to come up with each successive next action.

    I haven't seen any workflow diagrams for completing multiple project action items.

    Thanks for all the help!

    Jason

  • #2
    Originally posted by jayx773 View Post
    What is the best way to record the next action after you check off an action in a multi-step project?

    Do you do it immediately, or do you throw the fact that you completed the action into the in box to process, or wait for a review.
    Hi Jason.

    If you can write it down immediately, do so. If not, you should do a quick check of all your current stuff, or at least the stuff you've been moving on today, at the end of each day. It should only take about 5 or 10 minutes to just whizz through, make sure you've got an NA for every project, and that nothing's falling through the cracks.

    Short answer: now if you can, otherwise into the In Tray for daily processing.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply!

      What exactly would I be putting into the in box?

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      • #4
        I'm definitely in favor of recording NAs done and new NAs as soon as possible. It gives the GTD a driving force by doing this, and it's psychologically beneficial.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the reply!

          What exactly would I be putting into the in box?
          In situations where I can't immediately identify the NA for a Project I put a note in my InTray to "Consider NA for Project X" and try to identify if when I am doing my daily sweep (as suggested by unstuffed). If it is still too hard I actually put "Consider NA for Project X" on my NA list for action the next day.

          Kim

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          • #6
            A) As soon as you can
            B) Thats why we do the weekly review

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            • #7
              My advice , all in one breath is to say:

              "Oh Yeaaaaaah, this one is done!!!!!

              now What's the Next Action????"

              unless the project is done, there is always a next action. capturing it in your trusted system instantly upon completion of prior task reduces the risk that you will have a stale trail which isn't caught until your next weekly review.

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              • #8
                Another vote for 'right now'.

                If you don't know right away what the next action is, then the next action is 'Plan the next action for Project X'.

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                • #9
                  Next Action

                  There is always the next action for every action. The process never stops. Therefore the discipline is to make the next action automatic. The only difference is: before the current action ends, there are more options available for the next action. So you shall use this time filtering to see what option you will likely employ. But when the current action ends, you are ready for the next action immediately. The only difference is, you have narrowed your option to the one that your will stick with.

                  If it is like tennis, you are always ready for the next shot before you hit the ball. When the next shot returns, you have already made up your mind what to do. You try to make that reflex automatic.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for all the great advice!

                    What a great forum!

                    Jason

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                    • #11
                      Similarly, do you guys check off a project from the project list once it's completed, or do you wait until the weekly review to remove all completed projects.

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                      • #12
                        I try to do all maintenance -- adding NAs, checking off completions, etc. -- as I go. The Weekly Review catches anything that I missed, but it goes more smoothly if my lists are already pretty much up to date.

                        Katherine

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                        • #13
                          Front-loading

                          Originally posted by anthonykoo View Post
                          Therefore the discipline is to make the next action automatic. The only difference is: before the current action ends, there are more options available for the next action. So you shall use this time filtering to see what option you will likely employ. But when the current action ends, you are ready for the next action immediately. The only difference is, you have narrowed your option to the one that your will stick with.
                          I agree with anthonykoo. I think the way to really progress with this stuff is to front-load your decision-making - i.e. make the decision as soon as you've decided that there's something to do.

                          I personally find this really helps as often I have a thought (or pick up an action/discussion point from a meeting) and if I make the next action there and then - it's the most fresh and relevant in my mind - rather than wait (maybe a day or so) and then find you don't quite remember what the project was in enough detail to define the next action ...

                          As a side-benefit - I find I'm better at avoiding procrastination if I have a clear and physical action to do rather than just "think what the next action is for this project that's not completely fresh in my mind".

                          HTH - J.
                          Last edited by jsturtridge; 03-21-2007, 09:11 AM.

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