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I don't get what to do after completing next action

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  • I don't get what to do after completing next action

    Hello all,

    I'm not sure I follow how to run this system.

    I really enjoyed dumping out all the crap in my life onto bits of paper. All of the 2 minute jobs are done.

    1) What I want to know is that if you have a "project" and you do the next action. What happens then? Do you write it on a project paper, then review it later for the next action? I'm really lost here. It seems like a slow way to get through things.

    2) What about bigger projects that you can work on multiple fronts with. There was something in the book about it but I'm not sure how it works with this system. Do I makes lots of mini projects and work on each front?

    3) With the projects, some, I want to get done more than others, but the book says not to prioritize. How do I get the stuff I want to get done first if I follow this system?

    Josh

  • #2
    Originally posted by wouldnot View Post
    1) What I want to know is that if you have a "project" and you do the next action. What happens then?
    If you want to, you keep working on the project, turning to the project support materials for guidance if needed. Alternatively, you do additional tasks within the same context: you might batch phone calls for several projects, for example.

    2) What about bigger projects that you can work on multiple fronts with. There was something in the book about it but I'm not sure how it works with this system. Do I makes lots of mini projects and work on each front?
    If you want. Or you can just have multiple next actions for a single project. It really depends on the complexity of the subprojects--some projects will need more structure than others.

    3) With the projects, some, I want to get done more than others, but the book says not to prioritize. How do I get the stuff I want to get done first if I follow this system?
    The book doesn't say not to prioritize. Priority is one of the things you consider when deciding what to do next. (Along with time, context, and energy level.) The book just rejects the tyranny of the prioritized Daily To Do list, arguing that priorities shift too quickly for such a list to be helpful.

    Katherine


    Josh[/QUOTE]

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    • #3
      Congrats on finishing the tough part!


      1) What I want to know is that if you have a "project" and you do the next action. What happens then? Do you write it on a project paper, then review it later for the next action? I'm really lost here. It seems like a slow way to get through things.


      This is one way to do it. It's an especially good way if you are good with your weekly review. I have a next action list that is my main tool. When I finish a next action (or a stretch of them if I'm lucky enough to get a long stretch to work on a project without interruption), I can write down the next action when I'm at a breaking point. For my more complex projects I will have a project folder to keep my list of project items (it could be an written out list, a more formal outline, a mind map or a quasi gantt chart). This helps me keep track of my progress.

      2) What about bigger projects that you can work on multiple fronts with. There was something in the book about it but I'm not sure how it works with this system. Do I makes lots of mini projects and work on each front?

      Doing a mind map is real helpful for me to get a grasp of the project. Many of my projects have multiple fronts that allow me to have several mini projects (or usually "waiting for" items). The map lets me visualize time frames. I might do a quasi-gantt chart (MS Project type thing without all of their rules).


      3) With the projects, some, I want to get done more than others, but the book says not to prioritize. How do I get the stuff I want to get done first if I follow this system?

      Do what your gut tells you. Prioritizing makes you feel guilty when you put off all those A1 priority things to do a B4 or C23 once in a while. You need to do all the stuff that needs to get done even the C23s.

      good luck!
      Mike

      Comment


      • #4
        The Next Action list is a reminder, when you're in a context, of the very first thing you need to do on each Project in that context.

        So, let's say I have a Next Action to "Get out art supplies for Sana experiment" (I'm playing around with a character design). I may do so, then spend half an hour sketching variations on that character. That's absolutely fine.

        When I'm done, I look back at the Next Action list, and of course "Get out art supplies for Sana experiment" no longer applies. So I erase it, think of the next thing to do with Sana's character design, and write that on the list. I then review the entire list to see what to do next.

        I may see a Next Action, do just that Next Action, and write the next thing on the list and move on to something else.

        Does that make sense?

        Comment


        • #5
          As far as the prioritization, I think the gist of the book is that putting down "hard-coded" priorities is a bad idea. A lot of productivity books advocate labeling actions with an A for high priority, B for medium, C for low, or putting them into a "priority matrix" with importance vs. urgency...David Allen is arguing AGAINST that.

          But the reason he argues against it is because priorities change all the time. C actions can quickly become an A. Four As may pop up all at once, and your former A gets downgraded to a B. What are you to do then?

          Priorities are decided AS YOU DO THINGS. That is why this is called a "bottom up" system. Because at any given moment, YOU look at your list of things to do, decide what is your highest priority, and do it. You don't have a predefined all-powerful list that tells you what is important. You already know.

          That next-action that is making your heart pound a little bit when you look at it? Do that one first.

          Hope that makes sense.

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