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Next actions list review

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  • Next actions list review

    How often are you looking at your next actions lists. Mine is 30 items long and it takes time to read through all of them. Or one should do a focus list in the beginj g of the day and work off that list?

  • #2
    Many times a Day

    Originally posted by Mikheev View Post
    How often are you looking at your next actions lists. Mine is 30 items long and it takes time to read through all of them.
    Well as of this morning my action lists are separated into 14 contexts with a total of 238 actions. The longest list is @computer Mac with 55 actions. I have a total of 151 active projects. I generally scan the entire set in the morning and at least the individual context lists several times a day depending on where I am. It really doesn't take that long, I can do a quick scan of any single context in less than a minute and the entire set of all of them in less than 2 minutes. I have that much time just walking from the house to the barn.


    • #3
      Davids response is "as often as you need to." Which I didn't think was very helpful until I really got comfortable with GTD.

      If you lists are too long make sure you're using contexts in a way that makes sense for you. For instance, most things I do at work are on a computer so @ Computer was very large. I began to break that context up according to the application I needed to use to do that task. This was helpful for me because I often can tell by my energy level which applications I should avoid doing work in. Also it makes a shorter list to scan.

      If this leads you to question whether you're not working on an important item, then scan your full list "as often as you need to" in order to feel like you can make judgments on importance.



      • #4
        I do things a little different. I don't have many "active" projects or Next Actions. I have many Someday/Maybe items, but I limit myself to only a few projects at a time per area of focus and/or context.

        I found for myself having too many NAs or Projects was counter-productive. Jumping from one thing to another and having to scroll through NAs just didn't work. I made a pact with myself to limit my NAs to one screen so I could quickly review on my pda. When I start scrolling I know that I have to finish up some of the current ones to keep consistently moving in the right direction for my goals.

        I found that there were many things that were really Someday/Maybe and not actually active. As I delete all the current NAs, I add more from the Someday/Maybe list. And each week I review to make sure every area of focus is covered. This has worked wonders for my productivity.


        • #5

          I heard a good tip on a david allen podcast, which is if you have a really long list, go through once and make a "hotlist" of the ones you really want to get done and then focus on them. The trick is not to take them off your next action lists and be prepared to chuck the list if something else comes up.

          I usually have about 200-300 straight after a weekly review. I print the list off in the morning and then go through and highlight any that would be particularly advantageous to get done before the others (by whatever criteria) then tick them off as I go. I tend to focus on the 4 or 5 rather than the 20 or 30, because I'm not re-processing, just highlighting.

          its the same as any other bit of GTD, do your thinking in one go then write down the results of that thinking. Then just do em.