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The most important neverending Next Action?

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  • The most important neverending Next Action?

    We are discussing the same thread in the closed Connect forum but I wanted to hear any ideas of not-connected GTDers.

    My thread about time maps pushed me to open a new thread based on David's answer to my question. As far as I understood he suggested not to use time maps and stick to Project+Next Action concept in any case. But in this case priority question appears. For example, you come home and have two Next Actions on your @Home list: Play with a child (Child Focus Area) and Learn Spanish (Personal Development Focus Area). What you choose? Of course the most important and that's the first. The next day - the same situation and it will always be the same because Child Focus Area is more important then Personal Development Focus Area, and more more important then any other (House or what ever). So we have "the most important neverending Next Action" that forces out other Next Actions that're on your list. But in any case Personal Development is rather important for the future. So how do you come to Learn Spanish (or develop less important focus areas)if you have your child related Next Actions on the list always (keep in mind that I can't learn Spanish while the child awake and when she goes to sleep I go with her)?



  • #2
    Take an hour (or so) to play with child then take an hour (or so) to learn Spanish. I think you are making things more complicated than they are. Your child may be the most important thing by a wide margin, but play with child 24/7 is not the best thing for the child.

    The important thing is to play with your child everyday. If you are having trouble getting to that NA then by all means schedule some time for that activity.


    • #3
      Why can't your daughter learn Spanish, too? That's one obvious way to solve the problem.

      I don't agree with your premise, though, that the Child focus area is always the most important. If you lose your job, don't maintain your house, divorce your wife, and allow your brain to atrophy, the child will suffer, too. Maintaining a balance is in her best interests as well as yours. (Maintaining balance in your life is also how you teach her to maintain it in hers.)



      • #4
        MHO, a non-connected GTDer:

        I never put playing with my child on my list. It is always the most important thing to be done. It he wants to play, everything is dropped and I play with him. I cannot schedule time to play with my son. He is 4 and at the age where he wants to play by himself sometimes, or go to a friend's house and play.

        I agree with Max that you are making things too complicated. You can learn Spanish on your lunch hour, on your commute to/from work. So there is time available that your child is not around that you can study Spanish. If you want to learn it bad enough, you will find time.



        • #5
          An NA is normally attached to an active project. An active project is one that you hope to have completed with a defined time, let’s say 3 months (e.g. “cover first section of Spanish book”).

          If a project is not going to get past the first NA, then it is not an active project, it is a someday/maybe.

          If you are doing nothing on the Learn Spanish project, then you are doing nothing on the Learn Spanish project.

          You have to renegotiate with yourself about your commitment to yourself to learn Spanish.

          In old-fashioned terms, you don’t seem to have enough time in the evenings to learn Spanish. An alternative might be to get some educational CDs and learn by listening while commuting. But if this is not possible and your week is booked solid with other commitments, there actually is no time to learn Spanish.

          I have found that just because a goal is worthy, that doesn’t mean that there is room for it in my life. At the risk of sounding slushy, your heart is telling you that the right priority is to play with junior, and leave Spanish until some time is freed up.