Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.
Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Contexts, NAs and Projects Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Contexts, NAs and Projects

    I know the title is pretty broad, but I really didn't know how to summarize it very well.

    As everyone else, I have projects, NAs and contexts. From what I have learned in this forum, I only put the next action down associated with a project. The other NAs that I have thought of beforehand are stored in the notes section of the project in Outlook, so I don't get overwhelmed with all of them. This has been working well, until I realized that I had a slight dilemma.

    Let's say I'm at Location 1 working on a NA for a project. This NA was on my @Errands list so I went to Location 1 to complete it and came back to my office. That's all fine and dandy until I open up another project or even the same project to see that I also could have completed a NA at that location, but it was hidden, thus making me make another trip.

    Most of my NAs aren't actually "NEXT" actions. I guess you could probably call them "at the same time" actions because they really don't have a specific sequence. I usually just have a lot of different things to do at any particular location. However, if I list out all of these things, I tend to get numb to them and put them off because I see an overwhelming amount of things to do at one location, but if I just put 1 down and go do it, I don't know what the other actions where because I hid them from myself! You surely see my frustration.

    Any help on this matter would greatly be appreciated!

    Adam

  • #2
    I would suggest that you could consider creating "@location" contexts, so that you could do all relevant actions according to the location you are at, subject to the other constraints (time available, energy and priority).

    If the NAs are independent of one another, then there should be no harm in listing them per context. Before leaving a location, you could go quickly through the three parameters above, that is time available, energy and priority before concluding that you want or don't want to tackle any of the @location NAs.
    Last edited by DoingIt; 03-23-2007, 10:48 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      There's nothing that says you can (or even should) only have one next action for a project. If you have several actions that could be done next, then they should all be in your context lists.

      I, too, struggle with 'going numb' if I have too many items to choose from in any given context. So, I do pretty much what DoingIt suggests--I try to create more contexts to group the next actions into smaller buckets. If I have to repeat the same actions in different locations or with different people, then a checklist might make more sense.

      If I'm not mistaken, you've got a bunch of locations that you have to visit on a regular/frequent basis... Maybe you could just create a next action of 'Visit location X' in your @Errands context (I think someone suggested something like this in another thread[?]), and then list all the things that could be done while you're there in the notes for the task (assuming you're using Outlook or some other electronic system that allows you to put notes in your tasks). This is how I keep track of Agenda items when I have more than 2 or 3 things to talk about with the same person. The downside to this approach is that your next actions aren't directly in your context lists, so it complicates your weekly review somewhat; but it might cut down on the numbness factor.

      Jeff

      Comment


      • #4
        Good practice is to ask yourself once you've completed a NA what the next NA is. That will go some way to alleviating your problem in addition to the solutions above.

        Comment


        • #5
          I've went back and forth from using the @Agendas and putting in the location under the NA and then the things I need to do in the notes to setting @Location contexts and then putting in the NAs in each task in Outlook.

          I've found that it's much easier from a project standpoint and a weekly review standpoint if I use the @Location contexts and then put each NA that I have to do as a separate task. However, I seem to feel overwhelmed whenever I see all of those NAs in front of me and I tend to procrastinate on them.

          It makes you wonder why I just don't go do them instead of asking you guys these questions on why I am procrastinating!

          Comment


          • #6
            We're lazy Either Next Action is not a real next action or it's not granular enough.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by AdamB View Post
              I've found that it's much easier from a project standpoint and a weekly review standpoint if I use the @Location contexts and then put each NA that I have to do as a separate task. However, I seem to feel overwhelmed whenever I see all of those NAs in front of me and I tend to procrastinate on them.
              Do you mean that you are overwhelmed by all your NA's or just the ones for a given location? How many are we talking about for each location for example?

              In some ways I see each location as a separate context. You can't be doing any actions related to another location while in Location 1 for example. So while in LOcation 1 you should be able to filter out and not see the rest of your actions (in other words only have the actions that you can do while in Location 1 while you are there).

              Currently in what context do your next actions show up while you are at Location 1 for example?

              If there are several, e.g. @Comp, @phone, @desk because you have a separate desk at Location 1, then you could still add @Location1 to your contexts and select both @Location1 and @Comp for example in Outlook. Then filter on @Location 1 while there and just see which actions you have to do at Location 1 across the remaining contexts.

              Hope this is clear - I've been sick all week and even now I am not sleeping good.

              Paul

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by AdamB View Post
                Most of my NAs aren't actually "NEXT" actions. I guess you could probably call them "at the same time" actions because they really don't have a specific sequence. I usually just have a lot of different things to do at any particular location. However, if I list out all of these things, I tend to get numb to them and put them off because I see an overwhelming amount of things to do at one location, but if I just put 1 down and go do it, I don't know what the other actions where because I hid them from myself! You surely see my frustration.
                Sorry to be blunt on this but, your going to have to get over the 'overwhelm' simple as that! The work you have to do at one location is what you have to do. Writing only one NA then going back to find out you could of done more is just plain stupid!! You then have to go back to the location and do the NA which is an even bigger waste of time - remember GTD is about productivity, the way you've been doing it is not.

                List everything you need to do in one place and crank you way through the list. If you've got a one project with 10 NA's which can be done independently then you've got to do them or the project won't get done.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Advanced Common Sense.

                  Originally posted by Foxman View Post
                  Writing only one NA then going back to find out you could of done more is just plain stupid!! You then have to go back to the location and do the NA which is an even bigger waste of time - remember GTD is about productivity, the way you've been doing it is not.
                  As David says GTD is the Advanced Common Sense methodology - your implementation should be appropriate to your needs.
                  Last edited by TesTeq; 03-30-2007, 12:43 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As always, I appreciate everyone's feedback. It really gave me a lot of good ideas on where to change this. I am now using a @Plants context and putting the name of the plant first and then the task after that. It seems to be helping because I don't have a billion contexts that way, but yet I can still separate them out.

                    I'm doing a lot better. Thanks you guys so much!

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X