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Getting Next Actions Done - How To Avoid 'Over Sorting' And Other Distraction ?

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  • Getting Next Actions Done - How To Avoid 'Over Sorting' And Other Distraction ?

    Ok, so I have cleaned my head, everything is sorted out according to GTD method.

    The hard part is to actually start doing actions and not play around with GTD lists or other distractions.

    In the 'Eat The Frog' book there is an excellent quote:

    "Failures do what is tension relieving while winners do what is goal achieving'

    I keep what I call a 'Bull Shxt' list on my desk. If I get the urge to mess around with something or act on it unplanned, I try to write it down rather than act on the impulse to have to do it now. This can become an extremely hard mental tug of war ! (I also use a once touch voice record on my cell)

    Any great methods to help you stay with the goal achieving (pre planned) next actions and stop doing tension relief interruptions ? And how do you remind yourself of these new ideas from within the GTD system ?

    I have just spent an hour reading and writing in this forum, rather than a 'Next Action' I had allocated for this time. A prime example of the above.
    Last edited by hagadol; 01-09-2008, 09:46 AM.

  • #2
    How specific are your Next Actions? Much of the resistance to Next Actions comes from NAs that actually have one or two setup steps before you can do them.

    Procrastination isn't irrational. What projects are you procrastinating about? Is there some reason for that? How could you reframe those projects to make them more interesting?

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    • #3
      Procrastination is natural, but not encouraged

      Originally posted by Brent View Post
      Procrastination isn't irrational. What projects are you procrastinating about? Is there some reason for that? How could you reframe those projects to make them more interesting?
      I wouldn't say procrastination "isn't irrational," but I think we can all agree that it's natural and troublesome.

      Procrastination is generally an avoidance behavior -- it's a way to avoid some anxiety that we have attached to whatever it is we're supposed to be doing. We do something else to run away from the anxiety instead of working through the anxiety and coming out the other side. By running away, we conveniently fail to get rid of the anxiety, which often grows and grows...

      Brent makes good points about looking at your next actions. How small are they? David Allen Himself suggests that every item on your list either attracts or repels you instinctively. If your next actions repel you, it's time to reformulate them.

      It can also be hard to think about the next action without bringing all the baggage of the whole project with it. Practice makes better, so keep trying and you'll get the hang of it.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by flexiblefine View Post
        I wouldn't say procrastination "isn't irrational," but I think we can all agree that it's natural and troublesome.

        Procrastination is generally an avoidance behavior -- it's a way to avoid some anxiety that we have attached to whatever it is we're supposed to be doing. We do something else to run away from the anxiety instead of working through the anxiety and coming out the other side.
        Which is completely rational, because working through anxiety is painful, and it's rational to avoid pain. Right? Or am I missing something again?

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