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.

Next Actions, Someday/Maybe...what about Definitely, but not today?

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

  • Next Actions, Someday/Maybe...what about Definitely, but not today?

    I seem to have a lot of these. I could tickle them - but I think I'd be arbitrarily setting dates for them, and that would almost be like using a calendar in the way David Allen suggests NOT doing.

    So what about all of my items that do need tending - as soon as possible, really - but won't realistically get done today - or even this week?

  • #2
    I have divided my projects lists into Current Projects (moving forward this week) and Later Projects (definite, but not this week), as well as Someday/Maybe. This is really working--it keeps the current list manageable and allows me to put as much as I want in Later Projects without getting overwhelmed.

    Do Mi

    Comment


    • #3
      Projects

      Wouldn't these just be normal projects, under the projects file, and then assigned a next action, in the appropriate slot. I have many projects that have next actions assigned in various catagories, but may not be moved on for a week or two. They are not someday/maybe and need tending but need to take a back seat to more pressing projects.

      Is this what you are asking?

      Comment


      • #4
        Any project I don't intend moving on this week goes into Someday/Maybe for me. As long you're doing the weekly review every week, you'll pick them up when you need to.

        Comment


        • #5
          Wait a second. Are you talking about Projects that won't be finished for two weeks? Or a Project that you (probably) won't touch for two weeks?

          The former is perfectly okay for an active Project. However, if you're unlikely to actually work on it this week, I say, move it to Someday/Maybe.

          The split between Projects and Someday/Maybe forces you to make difficult decisions about what you actually will work on this week. There are many things you could do. By constraining your Projects list, you must focus on that which can actually be accomplished in a week.

          Most people don't prioritize their work based on how much time they actually have. They have lots of things on their to-do lists, but only get to a few of them. By narrowing that to-do list into a focused list of Projects, and deferring the rest to Someday/Maybe (even if you work on some of those next week!), you gain the power of focus and attention.

          Sorry for the sermon.

          Comment


          • #6
            This is exactly what I use my tickler for. If I have something that definitely needs to be done in a week or so, it will get lost in my Someday/Maybe file (which is filled with more "I'd like to do this..." things).

            I do choose a date "at random" for the item. Well...maybe not totally at random. I drop it in the date that I want to think about it again - maybe a week or so from today's date. Then, when I process that folder on its date, I see the item again and place it on my NA list.

            Scott

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm talking about things I probably won't touch for two weeks - doesn't mean I can't or shouldn't - just probably won't...

              but to put them on someday/maybe is to put them with ideas I have that may not happen for years...

              or is it those ideas (that may not happen for years) that should be in a different spot?

              Comment


              • #8
                Where to put it...

                I review my someday/maybe weekly, and those are items that may not happen up to 6 months. I also have an annual review list that I review in January every year; these are bigger projects that I may decide to move to someday/maybe in any certain year.

                If you have a project that you can assign a next action to, and you may or may not find time to work on it, then I would go ahead and make it a project and assign a next action. Often these will get acted upon, even though you thought you may not have time. Especially if the next action is something simple like a phone call.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bottleblue View Post
                  I'm talking about things I probably won't touch for two weeks - doesn't mean I can't or shouldn't - just probably won't...

                  but to put them on someday/maybe is to put them with ideas I have that may not happen for years...
                  Right, correct. That's where they belong. What's wrong with putting them there?

                  You're going to be staring at all of them every seven days anyway. They won't get lost, right?

                  If it really bothers you, split up the Someday/Maybe list into two halves, separated by some blank space. Upper half for long-term projects, lower half for more immediate ones. Or vice versa.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Brent View Post
                    ...if you're unlikely to actually work on it this week, I say, move it to Someday/Maybe.

                    The split between Projects and Someday/Maybe forces you to make difficult decisions about what you actually will work on this week. There are many things you could do. By constraining your Projects list, you must focus on that which can actually be accomplished in a week.

                    Most people don't prioritize their work based on how much time they actually have. They have lots of things on their to-do lists, but only get to a few of them. By narrowing that to-do list into a focused list of Projects, and deferring the rest to Someday/Maybe (even if you work on some of those next week!), you gain the power of focus and attention.
                    I used to reside squarely in the camp of "If I'm not going to take action in the next week, then it goes on my Someday/Maybe list". Just recently, though, I realized that I have a raft of projects that have been on Someday/Maybe for almost the whole year simply because, every week, I would say to myself, "eh.. not terribly important, so I'll get to it later". This year, to be sure, has been more productive than any pre-GTD year; but I don't feel it was as productive as it could/should have been.

                    Most of the permanent residents of Someday/Maybe have not moved to Active Town solely because there was not some iminent due date. The reality is, though, that I probably could have completed most of them if I had just had the next action in my context lists; then, instead of surfing the net or watching TV or trolling around this forum, I could have been moving other stuff forward.

                    I originally adopted the "If in doubt, get it out [of the active list]" approach about a year ago, when I determined that my next action lists were full of "invisible" items -- items that I looked at every day but didn't do, and they eventually came to the point where I would completely gloss over them when going through my lists to pick a next action; I simply wouldn't see them. I still don't know how to properly combat this problem, but hiding the next actions is not going to make them go away; and it certainly doesn't help to actually get them done.

                    Also, I am now coming to the realization that, during the weekly review, I am just not in a position to determine how much time/energy I am going to have on Thursday afternoon when I am in my @Home context. If I have not spent the up-front time to determine and record a next action for a large portion of my projects just because I wasn't sure whether I'd have time to do something about them this week, then I have actively denied myself the opportunity to move something forward that I really want to do at some point.

                    Maybe someone here can talk me out of my madness; but at the moment, I think it is best to just keep the project in "Active" status, record the next action, and use DA's 4-fold approach to determining what you'll do next.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jknecht View Post
                      Also, I am now coming to the realization that, during the weekly review, I am just not in a position to determine how much time/energy I am going to have on Thursday afternoon when I am in my @Home context. If I have not spent the up-front time to determine and record a next action for a large portion of my projects just because I wasn't sure whether I'd have time to do something about them this week, then I have actively denied myself the opportunity to move something forward that I really want to do at some point.

                      Maybe someone here can talk me out of my madness; but at the moment, I think it is best to just keep the project in "Active" status, record the next action, and use DA's 4-fold approach to determining what you'll do next.
                      Balance in all things.

                      Often, people post something like "I have 500 active projects! There's no way I can just pick actions out of my NA lists!" In that case, trimming the list down to something manageable is essential. Especially since these people are often new to GTD, and generally overwhelmed by whatever mess inspired them to try GTD in the first place.

                      Once your life is more under control and you are more comfortable with the system, then you're the best judge of what a manageable load is. If you're comfortable with a longer project list, go for it. Just make sure you aren't becoming overwhelmed, and take action to trim back if needed.

                      Katherine

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jknecht View Post
                        they eventually came to the point where I would completely gloss over them when going through my lists to pick a next action; I simply wouldn't see them. I still don't know how to properly combat this problem, but hiding the next actions is not going to make them go away;
                        What worked for me:
                        1. I work my context lists from top to bottom. Just do it.

                        Sometimes there are exceptions, but these do not come out from "mhm, which da#?+ thingie do I do next....? ponder, ponder, ponder, look out of the window, mhm maybe... or.. yes, oh, no". General rule for exceptions: I almost have not even to look at the list.

                        2. Schedule some "hot"-items, a few of them, not half your list.

                        3. Write NAs pertaining to projects with a (near) deadline in a diferent color.

                        4. Review often. Reviewing and processing ar partly thinking. Thinking is part of your work.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jknecht View Post
                          Most of the permanent residents of Someday/Maybe have not moved to Active Town solely because there was not some iminent due date. The reality is, though, that I probably could have completed most of them if I had just had the next action in my context lists; then, instead of surfing the net or watching TV or trolling around this forum, I could have been moving other stuff forward.
                          I completely agree. At times, we need to force things into our immediate attention, and that's fine.

                          However. I may be wrong, but I think it's an unhealthy long-term practice. That's all.

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X