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When the next action is "do it!"

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  • When the next action is "do it!"

    Sometimes I have NAs which require relatively little effort, but will be time consuming or will require me to actually sit down and do something. For example, maybe I want to alphabetise my CDs (I don't bw ) or I have to write a short speech which once I sit down to do I will be able to bash out, but may take a while to get going.

    What do you do with this NA? How do you deal with NAs that you just have to get on and do?

  • #2
    Alphabetizing CDs is a great constructive procrastination task for when you're avoiding the speech....

    Any writing task is more complicated than "just do it," no matter how simple it seems. Part of the problem may be that your subconscious knows that, and feels like you're not ready to do it yet. Maybe you need to make the task more granular? Maybe start with some brainstorming, or reviewing any notes you have, or reviewing the parameters for the speech... all of this kind of stuff helps me settle down to actually write, where telling myself to "just do it" can be counterproductive.



    • #3
      Put it on the appropriate context list and do it when I'm working from that context list.

      Isn't everything that is on a context list something that you can just do?


      • #4
        Originally posted by El_Stiff View Post
        What do you do with this NA? How do you deal with NAs that you just have to get on and do?
        I'm not sure I understand where the source of your doubt lies. I agree with previous poster than the work flow for your situation is simple just put the next action on a context list and do it when you are in that context.

        I suspect what you're asking is "How do you make yourself actually do next actions that are simple enough to accomplish, but that you're resisting for some reason?"

        If that's the question then I don't think there's an easy answer. GTD can lead you right to the water, but it can't make you drink. For me the simple tasks I tend to resist are stuff like cleaning and organizing my home and doing minor repairs around the house. My "solution" was to scehdule one hour, everySaturday, to just work on stuff like that. Seems to be fairly effective.


        • #5
          I think you've hit the nail on the head there mackiest. Most of the time it's motivational (like kewms says though, I've been in situations where there was more research to do before I could "just do it") - the thing I need doing doesn't take any thought, it's just time consuming, boring, and I'd rather not!

          So, I feel the solution would indeed be portion of a time to do the task in, and then gear up and do it!


          • #6
            Originally posted by El_Stiff View Post
            How do you deal with NAs that you just have to get on and do?
            Great question!

            As others have pointed out, it's tough. Sometimes you have to deal with the psychological issue that's causing your resistance to the action. As physically easy as it may be to pick up the phone and call your sister, there may be all sorts of other factors making that action unpleasant.

            I'll sometimes break the task down even further. In the "organizing CDs" example, I might change the Next Action to "Pull out first CD." I've even created NAs like "Look at CD collection." That'll at least get me thinking about what I need to do, and can get me started.