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.

Priority vs. Planned NA

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Priority vs. Planned NA

    In my current job I seem to be spending a lot of time working on projects with hard deadlines - so while I might have next actions from 20 different projects, I know that as I finish NA on project A, I really need to do another NA on project A (because it's due).

    This doesn't seem much like GTD to me. On the other hand, I would guess that for jobs like "Doctor" or "Plumber" where the work comes at you, this would be the norm.

  • #2
    use GTD to avoid MBC

    MBC = management by crisis. You might need to take some of this on faith, but you can turn many things into projects and in defining their desired outcomes including time frame if appropriate, you will be doing more of the thinking and acting before you are in crisis mode. But, yes, when your work comes at you, at a rate you might not predict or control, and each project is a little different and a little unpredictable, and very litle of it is routine, you may not be working from an n/a list a large part of the time and your ability to respond swiftly and concertedly until the project is done may be vital. Ideally you are creating a life-space that lets you respond in that way when you need to do so. However, you may find that some of the aspects that lead to crises can be worked as projects in a managable way rather than reacting and cleaning up. If you do a mind sweep you may come upon some of these and you might be able to think them through. Although I have only implemented GTD partially and inconsistently, I am finding that that somewhat fewer of my projects are arriving in the form of a crisis and that some that are coming as crises would not have if I have really looked at my project lists, analyzed my SDMBS and moved some of them to active. Also, I have found that some of my SDMBs were really statements of values and descriptions of responsibilities rather than do-able projects. The challenge is to take these ideals and make sure your projects support them.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by furashgf View Post
      In my current job I seem to be spending a lot of time working on projects with hard deadlines - so while I might have next actions from 20 different projects, I know that as I finish NA on project A, I really need to do another NA on project A (because it's due).

      This doesn't seem much like GTD to me. On the other hand, I would guess that for jobs like "Doctor" or "Plumber" where the work comes at you, this would be the norm.
      Actually, this seems very much like GTD to me.

      GTD specifically stays away from making you assign priorities -- not because priorities are not important, but because they change so rapidly. This is one of GTD's strengths; it allows you to look at all of your next actions and decide in-the-moment what thing should be done next.

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't know why.

        Originally posted by furashgf View Post
        This doesn't seem much like GTD to me.
        Why? GTD is just an Advanced Common Sense so if you know what you should be doing next - just do it. GTD only helps you decide what to do next.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by furashgf View Post
          This doesn't seem much like GTD to me. On the other hand, I would guess that for jobs like "Doctor" or "Plumber" where the work comes at you, this would be the norm.
          There's nothing wrong with working down a list of tasks associated with a project. GTD doesn't tell you what tasks to do. It is designed only to make sure you have all of the information you need to make the correct choices. I do this all of the time primarily because most of what I call "real work" is associated with completing projects on time. Most of the isolated tasks are red tape and other miscellaneous that isn't directly associated with my purpose but still has to be done.

          The keys in my experience are:

          1. to make sure you have at least one NA on your action list associated with the current project at the end of the day so you know where you left off.
          2. that you review your lists regularly to make sure that none of the other things you have to do slip through the cracks while you are concentrating on the current project.

          Specifically in answer to your comment as I understand it, I see nothing wrong with having multiple NAs associated with a project in your action lists. People seem to think that GTD projects need to be one step at a time lists. That's not true. Most of us know that real life doesn't work that way all of the time. However, it is helpful to have things listed out in a reasonable order so that completion of one preliminary step leads you to the next logical one once its completed. I think that might be why people so frequently go for "sub-projects". You might think of these as one step at a time sub-lists of things associated with a project that, on the whole, doesn't fit easily into this paradigm.

          In any case if you are like me you keep multiple NAs on your list for a project and you choose the one that is most pressing or highest priority and do it. I don't see this as "un-GTD".

          Tom S.
          Last edited by Tom Shannon; 09-12-2007, 02:10 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            In terms of focusing on completing a major deliverable, don't forget one of the reasons for the NA lists is so that you can be comfortable with what you're not doing when you're doing something else. This way while you're going down the steps to complete the deliverable, you don't forget two small but critical phone calls and an already completed document you promised to forward to someone (or whatever). Then you can focus on what you need to focus on without the nagging feeling that you may be forgetting something.

            Comment


            • #7
              Seems there's a common misconception that one should, conceptually, check off everything in one's Next Actions list before recreating Next Actions for all Projects. As if you must stop working on a Project once you've completed just the Next Action.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Brent View Post
                Seems there's a common misconception that one should, conceptually, check off everything in one's Next Actions list before recreating Next Actions for all Projects. As if you must stop working on a Project once you've completed just the Next Action.
                This was my perception when I first starting investigating GTD. I think this was born from my use of the Franklin-Covey-style prioritized daily task list. After you've "planned", you "do". No more planning until everything is done (this is obviously oversimplified, but you get the point).

                For me, the concept of the "next action" as a "bookmark" was critical to dispelling that misconception.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think that was part of my misconception - that you're supposed to sort of randomly pick from your next action list, even if a given project is much higher priority than the others.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by furashgf View Post
                    I think that was part of my misconception - that you're supposed to sort of randomly pick from your next action list, even if a given project is much higher priority than the others.
                    Nope. On the one hand, picking randomly shouldn't hurt: if it's on your NA list at all, then you need to do it at some point, and it might as well be now. But choosing an action based on priority is certainly GTD-approved. GTD does not expect you to abandon common sense.

                    (The same applies to many other questions people commonly ask. Yes, you can have more than one NA per project. Yes, you can review your project list during the week if needed. Yes, you can keep working on a project after you do the first NA. No, GTD does not expect you to turn off your brain. Sheesh.)

                    Katherine

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kewms View Post
                      (The same applies to many other questions people commonly ask. Yes, you can have more than one NA per project. Yes, you can review your project list during the week if needed. Yes, you can keep working on a project after you do the first NA. No, GTD does not expect you to turn off your brain. Sheesh.)
                      Yes, you can jott down every NA that is apparent for a give project - put those into project support material, not your NA-lists. Yes, offcourse, if you want to, you can have your NAs linked directly to your projects. No, you don't need to. Oh, btw, this is not a context, it's an area of focus. But, hey, if it works for you...

                      Now, if you ask me about a daily todo-list...

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X