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Next Action and Skill/Competency questions...

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  • Next Action and Skill/Competency questions...

    1. What if you are lacking the skills to do the NA?
    2. What if you have defined a successful outcome and maybe even the NA but you know that eventually you'll run into an NA that is beyond your abilities...or you're SCARED that the futre action will be beyond your abilities...or you think that a future action may take more energy/resources then you're prepared to give (i.e. opportunity cost).

    GTD has really made me ultra-aware of my fear of decision making - which I think is what this post is all about.

    Thoughts?

    Ryan

  • #2
    Make projects very granular

    I suggest that projects should be broken up into such small steps (i.e., make it granular) so that no next action step is intimidating. Hence you are doing a number of tiny steps that add up to accomplishing larger goals.

    Best of luck on this.

    Comment


    • #3
      Is it REALLY a next action??

      In my opinion, if you don't have the skills to do a next action, it really isn't a next action at all. Maybe "research how to get the skill" or "brainstorm how to do ____" is the next action that should go on your NA list. In other words, figure out what you need to do BEFORE you can do what is currently defined as your next action.

      Good luck! Sounds kind of scary.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would also suggest that your next action is to ask someone who knows how to do the action, how to do it.... I need to practice this also.. Asking for help when the action is just beyond my current competencies.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ryan,

          I've not done a lot of things because of worries about e.g. opportunity cost. So focusing on the "why not", instead of the "why". Sometimes those fears are valid, but often not.

          There are various possible ways to get around it. One I've found is useful is to dip my toes into the water. Get something done immediately - even if it's just a plan. For each time you have a situation like "not enough skill", I think you could find a solution to that. Maybe reframe the problem as if you were advising a friend what to do. You've already identified one part of the problem - decision making. Get some practice making decisions.

          Architects don't have to lay every brick themselves.

          Richard

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by roakleyca View Post
            1. What if you are lacking the skills to do the NA?
            Then you can't do the NA (It's not an NA)

            Originally posted by roakleyca View Post
            2. What if you have defined a successful outcome and maybe even the NA but you know that eventually you'll run into an NA that is beyond your abilities...or you're SCARED that the futre action will be beyond your abilities...or you think that a future action may take more energy/resources then you're prepared to give (i.e. opportunity cost).
            Two things I think I've learned:
            A) The future is never predictable. Every stage of every plan can work out worse than how you planned it and cost multiple times in resources which you originally budgeted to it. You can usually abandon a plan though.
            B) The future is never predictable. Every stage of every plan can work out better than you could ever have thought and lead to opportunities to make things easier and more efficient.

            Very occasionally a plan even works!


            Originally posted by roakleyca View Post
            GTD has really made me ultra-aware of my fear of decision making - which I think is what this post is all about.
            Nothing wrong in fearing the consequences of your decisions- that's how we avoid making mistakes. I think the important thing is to push the boundaries. If you screw up big time then you'll be frightened into doing nothing. If you never screw up ever then you're probably not doing anything at all.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by roakleyca View Post
              1. What if you .... know that eventually you'll run into an NA that is beyond your abilities...or you're SCARED that the futre action will be beyond your abilities...
              Then it's not an NA. It's a sub-project "Learn X-Skill".

              The NA is not "Do Y (which requires X skill)" but rather "Investigate resources for learning X-skill and make a list of the most promising three options."

              Yes, the original project will take longer to complete than it would if you already had all the necessary skills, but that would be true whether you acknowledged it in your plan or not.

              Originally posted by roakleyca View Post
              or you think that a future action may take more energy/resources then you're prepared to give (i.e. opportunity cost).
              As others have said, this usually means that it's not really an NA, and needs to be broken down more (and perhaps there may be a sub-project hidden inside of it.) Or, contrarily, that you're not really committed to the project yet, and instead the project is "take preliminary steps on Project Z, and use the results to reach a decision about whether or not I want to commit to Project Z". Then decide what you need to do/know before you can make a decision about whether you're truly committed.

              If the plan reflects the reality of what you know to be true-- such as by letting you take the time to learn a skill you know you will need rather than hoping that you'll magically pick it up instantly, or by acknowledging that you need to go a little further down this path before you can know whether or not you want to take it to the end-- then the plan will be a lot less scary/overwhelming.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by roakleyca View Post
                1. What if you are lacking the skills to do the NA?
                Is it Actionable?
                Can be a Project or Sub Project to learn the skill.
                Can be delegated. The next action may not be "Learn how to rebuild engine." It may be "Call friend to find out who they recommend to rebuild engine."

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