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Hidden Projects in NA Lists

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  • Hidden Projects in NA Lists

    I had one of those "Ah Hah" moments during my Weekly Review last week.

    I had re-listened to one of David's Podcast and heard someone talking about hidden Projects in the Next Actions lists. I instantly knew that this was true of my lists simply because there were a number of my NA's that were not getting done.

    I opened my Entourage Task List and selected all my NA's and moved them to my Projects List. I then worked through all 130 items and discovered that I had 42 Projects hidden in my 130 NA Lists. Incredible!

    I re-worked my lists, re-popluated my @Calls, @Computer, @Office, etc. lists, and generally tightened up the whole system. By week's end, I had cleared a huge number of Next Actions off of my plate.

    Another step closer to Black Belt!

  • #2
    That's pretty impressive! I wonder if I should try that...? Well, probably I should, but will I, that's the big question.

    What sort of projects were masquerading as NAs, if I might ask? Because I have some persistent lurkers, and I'm wondering if it's the same problem.

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    • #3
      I agree. I also have tons of Next Actions that are added directly to the lists during the week. I think I know why it happens. Because I skip collection phase and go directly to organizing (get a task - put it as a Next Action directly onto action lists). In practice I should put any idea into IN first and when processing ask if that's a project and deserves to be on Project list.

      Maybe it worth adding "re-map all Next Actions to active projects" to the Weekly Review checklist? I think I will do.

      Thanks for reminding.

      Regards,
      Eugene.

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      • #4
        I still have a really hard time determining what the next action should be for any project. I wish there was more information or discussion or help or something surrounding this topic.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by darlakbrown View Post
          I still have a really hard time determining what the next action should be for any project. I wish there was more information or discussion or help or something surrounding this topic.
          Well let's discuss it.

          I find it relatively easy for most items. For the few I have trouble with I will sometimes do role playing. I will pretend I'm about to do that task and decide what I am going to do to get started, write that down and then pretend I did that and figure out what I am going to do next and write that down. I typically stop there but you could go on visualizing the process until the whole project was complete. As you probably realize the things I wrote down are the NAs.

          Sometimes I write down the minutia, like "go into the garage and get out the bin that I think contains the item I need", "look in the bin for the item". I then think through all these minute tasks and combine ones that make sense.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by darlakbrown View Post
            I still have a really hard time determining what the next action should be for any project. I wish there was more information or discussion or help or something surrounding this topic.
            If you give an example of one or two projects I'd be happy to help break it down with you.

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            • #7
              As WebRover said, can you give an example?

              I think the reason why there isn't much discussion is because the answer depends on the project and the person. Tasks that you consider routine might be enormous efforts for someone without your expertise.

              For me, identifying the next action can be an iterative process:
              * Identify project, ask "what is the next action to move this forward?"
              * Write that down.
              * Review NA list, realize that the action hasn't been done.
              * Ask, "Why isn't this moving? Is this really the next action?"
              * Identify new next action. Write it down.
              * Repeat.

              Katherine

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              • #8
                Originally posted by kewms View Post
                * Ask, "Why isn't this moving? Is this really the next action?"
                If doesn't work ask if it's granular enough to put you into action. But that's all about anti-procrastination tricks I just guess the next action, make it not more then 15 minutes long and put on the list. I can always strach it to 30 min and more if I go into the flow of Doing

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                • #9
                  Sorry for not getting back here sooner - you know how it is!

                  I am conducting a wedding ceremony with another pastor in August. I had this in my @MacBook List: "Outline Wedding Ceremony for K and V". I should have had a Project called "Deliver Meaningful Wedding Ceremony for K & V".

                  I created the Project, and then listed as my very NA: "Call Pastor R. to discuss K & V's Wedding Ceremony". By the way, Pastor R is my wife, so my very NA wasn't "Look up Phone Number for Pastor R."!

                  This was the very NA because I couldn't move on it until I gained clarity with the other pastor first.

                  The challenge, I think, is moving fast during the capture phase and just adding items into my Treo without asking: "Project or NA?" Thankfully, I did a much slower Weekly Review last week and had been prompted by David's Podcast to better define and refine my lists.
                  Last edited by GTDWorks; 04-04-2007, 11:48 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GTDWorks View Post

                    The challenge, I think, is moving fast during the capture phase and just adding items into my Treo without asking: "Project or NA?" Thankfully, I did a much slower Weekly Review last week and had been prompted by David's Podcast to better define and refine my lists.
                    Sounds like a really productive Weekly review!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GTDWorks View Post
                      The challenge, I think, is moving fast during the capture phase and just adding items into my Treo without asking: "Project or NA?"
                      Do you put it into Treo without category first or how do you get that's just new unprocessed INbox item?

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                      • #12
                        I guess my answer is, "It depends". If I'm in the car or really moving fast, I use my Notetaker wallet. But if I'm sitting someplace waiting, or have a bit more time, I'll add it into the Treo and choose a category right then.

                        I guess I'm guilty of thinking of something that needs doing and skipping to one of the NA's of the Project rather than stepping back and thinking, "Is this a true NA or a Project in disguise?"

                        I'm learning, however, that in a sense it doesn't matter if I get it perfect at this stage because I know I'll be doing a Weekly Review and that will enable me to re-assign my NA's to Projects or vice-versa.

                        Do you ever notice that it always comes back to the Weekly Review?

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