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Next Actions - an "AH HA!!!" moment (maybe?)

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  • Next Actions - an "AH HA!!!" moment (maybe?)

    Like a lot of David's ideas, the concept of the next action seemed simple and clear at first but then was confusing. After a few weeks with GTD, I convinced myself that it was a good idea, necessary in fact, to have a list of next actions. And soon after that I became overwhelmed with trying to sort and organize all of these small tasks. But this morning, the next action concept again seemed clear.

    The purpose of the next action is to get you started on the next action. They are bookmarks and not task lists. And, because they are just meant to get you started, you need not and should not write a list of next actions. When you need to stop whatever you are doing, you write down the action you will take when you start up again.

    So, gurus, is my understanding correct?

  • #2
    Guru Meditation

    I certainly couldn't claim to be a guru, but that's exactly as I see it - the next actions are just placeholders in the projects, so you can't forget to do anything.

    The lists themselves don't even have to be up to date all the time - they're just there to make sure you can't forget. Expecting them to always be an accurate representation of everything that's going on in our lives, and expecting them to contain all future plans, tends to lead to obsessing over the system, rather than actually Getting Things Done.

    Though I have to admit that's my biggest problem - playing with the system rather than just using it as a safeguard.