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.
Deciding number of n/a? Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Deciding number of n/a?

    I know that this is little art and little science, but I would like to know from people who are making the system work for themselves, how they decide what number of n/as is right. for various contexts.

    Viewing GTD as a task managing system (per Kwems in another thread), it occurred to me that that I still am not making good use of the n/a lists because I have ridculously too many actions on these lists.

    Of course, I should have known this just by reading the book, etc., but I didn't get it. All of my working life, I have coped by commititng to more than any single person could do, either in scope or the number of projects, and then feeling that doing 1/3 to a 1/2 was more than fulfilling my obligations to myself and others. So, it can readily be seen how my coping style lead me to make the mistake of too many n/as.

    So what do those who are feeling in control and ready for anything use as a guide?


    I do understand that each n/as should be transient, that is done, then gone and then replaced by the next one.

    But at the points when the system is "refreshed" (weekly review), how does one decide when enough is enough?

  • #2
    One of the advantages of a paper system for me is that it makes the volume of commitments very obvious. I limit each context to one side of a journal-sized (5"x8") page. In my handwriting, that's between 10 and 15 items. A list may expand beyond that over the course of a week, but come the weekly review a longer list is a sign that I need to renegotiate some things.

    I don't deliberately limit my project count. However, limiting the number of NAs accomplishes the same thing: if every active project has at least one NA, then I can't add more (active) projects once my NA lists are full.

    Katherine

    Comment


    • #3
      For me, the number of next actions within a given context is not really that important. What is important is the number of next actions left over from last week. If I have more than about 10% of last week's next actions still hanging around, then I've got a problem.

      Comment


      • #4
        Jamie,

        This is a really interesting question.

        I've been trying something similar to Katherine's method, but since I use a Treo and a PC, I try to limit the number of NAs per context by how many can fit on one screen.

        Instead of stopping when the list is full, I've just been adding more finely grained contexts, hence my full NA list getting quite long... approaching the 450 items mentioned by a caller on the most recent tele-seminar. Probably time to think about which ones are really someday/maybe.

        I must say jknecht's 90% completion rate is really impressive.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dschaffner View Post
          I must say jknecht's 90% completion rate is really impressive.
          Yes, impressive that is. But necessary as well. Keep in mind, n/a s on your list only represent the next possible steps, not even the majority of work to do. You can complete all your next actions without advancing one single project substantially.

          Comment


          • #6
            I've got far too many NAs/projects! My prioritisation is to do those with a real due date, including those where departmental policy says that a report must be completed within 6 weeks of an assessment taking place. (I'm a developmental paediatrician.)

            My next task is going to be to go through my project list and take a realistic view of what can be done in the next week, and in the next month (a tip I got from this forum). I then plan to put the rest either into someday/maybe, or into a "projects to do later" box. I might even manage to delegate a few projects or throw them back to my boss. Currently I've got 365 NAs and 77 projects - so I need to make some sort of decision!

            Ruth

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Cpu_Modern View Post
              Yes, impressive that is. But necessary as well. Keep in mind, n/a s on your list only represent the next possible steps, not even the majority of work to do. You can complete all your next actions without advancing one single project substantially.
              Exactly right. I never claimed 90% completion of my projects (I wish!) -- just the next actions. For many of my projects, I only get one next action done in any given week; but at least it's SOME progress.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RuthMcT View Post
                Currently I've got 365 NAs and 77 projects - so I need to make some sort of decision!
                The number of projects isn't all that huge, but 365 NAs is quite a lot. You might also want to check to make sure all of them are true, immediately doable, Next Actions. If you're doing your project planning in your NA list, you can create a lot of clutter.

                Katherine

                Comment

                Working...
                X