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NAs and projects

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  • NAs and projects

    Hi people,

    I have my own answer to this but I'm curious as to how other people see/handle it.

    Projects, by our definition, consist of multiple steps. And in many cases those steps are linear - you have to do things in a specific order to get the project completed. This makes working out your next action fairly simple.

    But what about those cases where the steps aren't necessarily linear - where you could do any of a number of them at any or even the same time? As an example, you may be thinking of adding a new product line to your business, but you have several possibilities. You need to research each of the possible products and then make a decision. There's no reason that you couldn't be doing any or all of the research actions simultaneously.

    How do people handle the NA part of this situation?

  • #2
    Pick something

    The real power of "Next Action" is that it forces you to decide what is the next thing you can/must do on the project.

    Does it sound like I'm telling you something you already know?

    In GTD, David always refers to "the" next action. Well, in a situation where there is no singular next action, just pick "a" next action. If the order doesn't matter, then just pick something and do it.

    The point of next action is not to organize steps, the point is to get you DOING something.

    Change "the" to "a" if there is more than one possible next action.

    It works for me. :P


    • #3
      Pretty well the answer I already had. The question to me was whether it was 'allowable' to have more than one NA for a project at the same time. The implication always seemed to be that there was only ever one NA. But your way of putting it makes a lot of sense.


      • #4
        Only one NA ?

        With nonlinear projects, i often have more than one NA in my lists : in fact i have, if possible due to the actual structure of the project, one NA for a project in every possible context.


        • #5
          That was the point I was making :P


          • #6
            I agree. As long as an action is defined for the project that is doable as it is, list it.


            • #7
              I frequently have more than one independent next action for a project on my context lists. This gives me the flexibility to choose a next action that fits my time, energy, context and/or priority.