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.

redefining troubled next actions

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

  • redefining troubled next actions

    I often try to execute what seems to be a short simple next action. Then, I find out it has an unexpected prerequisite, which in turn has an unexpected prerequisite, etc, and soon, that short next action has consumed a few days of time. I guess you could say it has turned out to be a project. My question -- do you use the original next action as a placeholder, and just keep plugging at all the other things that come up, perhaps identifying a new bookmark at the end of the day to mark your place on the still-incomplete next action? Do you stop and make it a project? Does it matter? Currently, I am trying to eliminate that 'bogged-down not-making-progress the-original-bookmark-is-irrelevant' feeling.

  • #2
    If it were me, I'd probably stop and create a project. I'd definitely replace the original NA with something more relevant.

    Katherine

    Comment


    • #3
      Agree with Katherine. In fact for me, such things happen not just because there is an unexpected prerequisite, but also because during the heat of processing I occasionally put a tiny project as a next action. I change it as soon as I notice it, or if it's ambiguous and I am going to need time to actually figure out the real next action, I put a note into my inbox, so that I do it during next processing.

      Regards,
      Abhay

      Comment


      • #4
        re: Kickstarting Next Actions

        Sometimes we are too quick to specify a next action without capturing the successful outcome that next action is aimed at helping us achieve. Instead of writing the next action first, think about the successful outcome. Write that down, and then write down the very next action. Often doing just that one extra step helps (a) get the item where it needs to go --> Projects or Tasks and (b) assists your mind toward action because it has clearer focus on the specific goal.

        Hope that helps.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ArcCaster View Post
          My question -- do you use the original next action as a placeholder, and just keep plugging at all the other things that come up, perhaps identifying a new bookmark at the end of the day to mark your place on the still-incomplete next action? Do you stop and make it a project? Does it matter?
          When this happens to me, I enter the prerequisite as a new action, and its prerequisite as a new action, and when I finally define it up to an action that I can do, _that's_ the next action. Maybe. Depending on how much of a mess I've made, I may reorganize the new actions and make or split projects before I work on the new next action, or I may just work on it and leave the tidying for a later review.

          But in either case, the fact that the original next action is now a project or is sixteen actions down doesn't matter to me - I don't feel obligated to work my way through to it, in order to feel that I've made progress. The new information produces new priorities and suggests new decisions, so I consider bookmarking irrelevant. To put it a slightly different way, my body of work has been rearranged, so I just pick a next action from that rearranged body of work and work on it, without worrying about what the body of work used to look like.

          Gardener

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ArcCaster View Post
            I often try to execute what seems to be a short simple next action. Then, I find out it has an unexpected prerequisite, which in turn has an unexpected prerequisite, etc, and soon, that short next action has consumed a few days of time.
            FYI, there is a technical term for this.

            It's call yak-shaving. Seriously.

            http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/yak_shaving

            - Don

            Comment

            Working...
            X