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What's the next action ?

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  • What's the next action ?

    I have several similar projects where I can't work out what the next action should be and wondered if anyone had some input.

    I run a software company and these projects are really housekeeping of the software we use in house, so there's no client chasing for them to be done (so no due by date).

    All the planning's been done, so there's a list of; fix this bug, add that new feature etc.

    I have to do this work on my computer, but as I'm sat in front of it 90% of my day, that's not an issue.

    The problem is that
    (a) to do this work efficiently it all needs to be done at once i.e work on this project until it's complete (don't get side tracked or interrupted).
    (b) I have to be at the right energy level.
    (c) I don't have anything pressing to do for a customer.

    So is my next action "Block in time for this project", which I can do when my energy level is right, i.e I'm going to block today (maybe tomorrow) for this project ? But to block the time I need to speak to my partner to check he can deal with anything unplanned which may need my attention, so maybe my next action is "check partner can cover me whilst I work on project X", which I put on my @partner list and only ask him if my energy level is high enough ? Or maybe I should be doing something else ?

    I have 5 or 10 projects like this, seems odd to have a load of next actions "ask partner to cover me whilst I work on project X"

  • #2
    The first thing I would do is have a meeting with my partner to set up a scheduled block(s) of time. "Call Joe to discuss scheduling project A." You will most likely have 5 to 10 next actions like that. You can discuss all projects at that time too, as well as other items on your agenda.

    You may have to compromise a bit on the energy level if Joe can't pinch hit (is that the right sports term?) for you when you think you'll have the most.

    Comment


    • #3
      Agreed with sdann.

      To further discuss, forget about the term "Next Action." If you'd never heard of GTD, and didn't have anything else to do but this project, what's the first thing you'd do? Figure out a time with your partner when you can work on this, as sdann suggested? Or do you need to do some research on the technology first? Whatever it is, that's your Next Action.

      Regarding energy level, I humbly submit that that's something you need to learn. Do you have more energy in the mornings, early afternoons, late afternoons or evenings? If you're not sure, observe for a few days.

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      • #4
        "Call Joe to discuss scheduling project A." You will most likely have 5 to 10 next actions like that
        OK that makes sense.

        Regarding energy level, I humbly submit that that's something you need to learn. Do you have more energy in the mornings, early afternoons, late afternoons or evenings?
        This is the one I find the hardest. Energy seems to be highest in the morning at the moment - but can easily get upset if one of the kids has a bad night.
        Also I don't have any leeway in what time I get up - kids still young enough to need to be taken to school etc, but I can go to bed when I'm tired - so planning work for the morning is probably best for me.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by david_navigator View Post
          Energy seems to be highest in the morning at the moment - but can easily get upset if one of the kids has a bad night.
          In that case, unfortunately, you may have to get used to working on these projects despite your energy level.

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          • #6
            Yeh I know. Problem is, I'm the boss, so if I don't get it done, no one shouts at me !

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