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The Next Next Action

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  • The Next Next Action

    Hi, everytime I finish one 'next action', I start going through next action list, and find myself getting lost in the undending list of next actions.

    I am now trying something - in the begining of everyday, I review my 'next action' and 'waiting for' lists and decide what would be my next three 'next actions'. Then I put away my long next action list I call this the 'Next NA' according to some priority that seems appropriae to me. and set about doing the things in the same sequence as I would have written down.

    With this I am able to bring about some focus, otherwise I would often end up gloomilty staring at my long next action lists and trying to figure out where to begin.

  • #2

    This is a good idea and many take a similar approach.

    Digital GTD systems often provide a way of doing this - it is often named a 'Today' list, or a 'Hotlist' / 'Focus' list. I use this approach and have a filter setup so that anything that has a hard due date of today or tomorrow is included or anything else I have flagged with the 'star' field.


    • #3
      I have been doing something similar to that for years

      I pick out 2-4 things that I want to get done in any day at the beginning of the day. Only 2-4 because I get so many interruptions with new work that 2-4 is historically about all I can do pre-planned.


      • #4
        I do something not too disimilar, I print off my next action list in the morning & highlight the handful of NAs I really want to get knocked off today. I dont always do it, sometimes I prefer to just whizz through them from the top, but when there's something more urgent to be done it can be a nice way to help focus on them.


        • #5
          Ditto. I use a printed day planner and write out the days actions on that. Despite an incessant digital quest that physical actions always feels good, and focuses my mind nicely.



          • #6

            you may need to look at why the long list of NA's make you feel gloomy.
            are they related to projects that don't jive with your "higher purpose"?


            • #7
              Originally posted by jchinique View Post
              you may need to look at why the long list of NA's make you feel gloomy.
              are they related to projects that don't jive with your "higher purpose"?
              This brings me to another aspect of working through by Next Action lists...why the list makes me feel 'gloomy'...not always, but sometimes...I will find the words and start another thread on that topic...

              Meanwhile, thanks for the inputs that some of you are indeed using short lists or hot lists or today is now working for me


              • #8
                Lately instead of totally cleaning my email inbox, I'll leave the top 2 or 3 actions

                This has been working well for me lately. Of course the downside is that the next folder down, Time critical hold, then suffers a little loss of attention. But it is tolerable.


                • #9
                  Sequence of NA

                  Then i started to use GTD i tried do not change anything in the system, because if i will, maybe don't get it and in such case never do. But after few weeks, i made a conclusion for my self about why so many people suffer from reviewing NA list too much and spending too much time to decide what to do next. Most tries to create particular list of NA and they call it something like "today", "urgent", etc. But the point is, even if you have such list of several NA, you still need to decide that to do next. Really good reason for procrastination.

                  I found what the only thing we need is a sequence of NA. It's not about urgency, not about priority, not about today. Let say, i go from top of list to bottom and decide what could be great to accomplish in near future (it could be a hour or three days, doesn't matter). Some actions has very big cohesion (same context, location, etc.). And if i see the most optimal sequence to accomplish a lot actions, why i should to remember it? Why i can't to write it down and empty head? But there is no a solution for this in GTD or i miss something.

                  So, before doing anything, i make sure that i have most optimal sequence of next few NA. Then i sort them in excel as all my GTD in excel. And if anything changes i can always to fix sequence and make it more optimal.

                  Is there a possibility to do it strictly in GTD concept? Because choosing next actions is by context, energy, time and priority, but if i can pretty good predict those in near future, i want to save this prediction outside my head.


                  • #10
                    Try Nozbe for tracking next actions

                    It is pretty easy to get lost in the list of next actions. I have been using to track my next action lists. It allows you to pull up next actions by project. It has helped me out.