Approaching Next Actions for each to do, specifying beginning date

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by kerem parlakgumus, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. kerem parlakgumus

    kerem parlakgumus Registered

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    Dear All,

    My name is Kerem Parlakgumus. I am very happy to be able to contact with all GTDers.

    Warm greetings from Adana, Turkey.

    I stuck with "next actions" subject.

    For each actionable item, I fill the table below to be able to specify my next actions:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hDlGnoT912J6hpFfojlYicNODh9yYNBg/view?usp=sharing

    is it a good method to specify the next actions? should I erase the second, third step (is it just loss of time to specify the second, third events to be done)? about adding a "due date" to the next action items: should I also add the beginning date to the next action items?
     
  2. SDH

    SDH Registered

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    I have found that my systems have gotten more and more simple as time goes on. I have a lot of projects at work—I used to plan each one out in advance, with all the related tasks and due dates, and get them all on my Outlook task list so that tasks would show up each day according to my plan. I found, however, that I was often feeling overwhelmed because a slew of tasks for unrelated projects would show up on my task list and I’d have difficulty sorting out what was really priority for that date—resulting in moving a lot of tasks day to day to day... So now I plan out my project with all its tasks but only put deadlines on either the critical ones that HAVE to happen on a certain day, or just the first two or three action items. I then go through all my projects in my weekly review to set dates for the next two or three tasks. This makes sure I have a more realistic view of what I actually need to get done on a given day.
     
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  3. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    Hello Kerem; I agree with SDH above. The GTD project approach is simplistic under the pretense that most projects are simple. Once the floodgates of complexity open, it is difficult to close them! I used a similar system in Excel for two reasons;
    1. it was easy to move cells around VERTICALLY to re-order a project's sequence of tasks
    2. As each project had its own column, there were often HORIZONTAL economies-of-scale advantages

    For example, I live about 60 miles/100km outside of Toronto - where most of my clients were. If i or one of my colleagues had to make a trip into Toronto to complete a task the client's site, we'd look at what else could be done. This was a cost and time savings.,Also, there was a 3rd party vendor needed for almost all projects. If we could schedule him to do this work on two or more projects at a time, then there was a cost savings.

    I say "use" in the past tense as the work and projects I do now don't have inter-dependency. Once I do my (pen-and-paper back of the envelope") planning, it makes more sense for me to have separate project lists and execute them independently of each other. Synergies do show up when I do my GTD weekly review.
     
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  4. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    GTD is a personal management system. I don't know what "floodgates of complexity" you open but in my life my personal (both @home and @work) projects are simple. They describe my engagement in home and work worlds. GTD is not project management system for organization.
     
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  5. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    TesTeq; What I meant is that SOME projects are complex by their very nature. Their complexity necessitates the full accoutrements of modern project management techniques. Conversely, the project management method described in GTD is simple under the pretense that most of us have a lot of simple projects.

    At a certain level of magnitude, a project goes from simple to complex and requires more that "back of the envelope" planning.
     
  6. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    I agree that the R&D project for the newest fighter jet or the "manufacture millions of iPhones" project requires advanced planning and control but I've managed to coordinate a total makeover of my home using GTD lists and the Natural Planning Model.
     
  7. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    That's what I mean :) It would be absurd to use the a full project management methodology when GTD's Natural Planning Model will suffice and be a better!
     
  8. Longstreet

    Longstreet Registered

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    And I bet you had some structured days and significant time blocks involved....:D
     
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  9. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    It was my biggest GTD project but fortunately I could share many tasks with my productive wife. She doesn't use GTD - she has a wall calendar in the kitchen and her own system of lists that never fails!
     
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  10. Longstreet

    Longstreet Registered

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    Okay - now you have intrigued me. What is her own system of lists that never fails?
     
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  11. Ulrica

    Ulrica Registered

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    Good to hear, as I've recently started on a (not so advanced) home makeover this way. I've moved through some things much faster than I would've done otherwise.
     
  12. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    A blackbox. Mystery. Some lists are here, some there but - apparently - it's a robust system. She has iPad and iPhone but her lists are only on paper and her calendar is on the kitchen wall. ;-)
    I am a GTD enthusiast but if some other system works well for other people I am not evangelizing them by force.
     
  13. Longstreet

    Longstreet Registered

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    It may be a mystery, but it works for her! And that is all that matters, does it not?
     
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  14. kerem parlakgumus

    kerem parlakgumus Registered

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    SDH, thank you very very much for sharing your experience & valuable information.

    Me, as being a beginner GTDer, How I wish I can apply, realize the simplest GTD system that you are using. Because to be able to purify, use simple, quick method, a person may need time which you struggle and say to yourself like "ok, this is too complex, let's change it". I am very curious about the simplest, quickest way so that I can apply. Because I feel overwhelmed with too much to do and specifying their three next action items with a due date.

    So it is a good idea, to specify the first, second, third next actions with a deadline for each event? İn that manner, adding beginning date would be a time waste?
     
  15. kerem parlakgumus

    kerem parlakgumus Registered

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    John, hello, thank you very very much for sharing your valuable information which is really valuable and instructive for me.

    it seems a really good idea to specify at least first 3 next actions with a due date & adding, inserting those next actions to the google calendar.

    you say "Once I do my (pen-and-paper back of the envelope") planning, it makes more sense for me to have separate project lists and execute them independently of each other." The project list is the next action for each project?
     
  16. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    Hello Kerem; I made a mistake in the words/terms I used to describe a concept above. below is the correction

    Project List - this is the complete list of all of the projects you are currently working on. In GTD, a project could be as few as two tasks to accomplish an outcome. the more experience you get wit GTD, the more apt you are to classify something as a project

    Task List - Each of my current projects has its own task list. What I meant to write abovr was "it makes more sense for me to have separate TASK lists (FOR EACH PROJECT) and execute them independently of each other."


    If you know the next 3 actions and can schedule them it is nice. if you do not know the next action for one of your projects, then that project is not current; it is dormant.

    For example, a client of mine is a independent financial institution with 15 branch offices. I have been retained as a consultant to manage two projects within their IT department. The IT manager resents this as he says he can do them himself. He was boasting to me that he had 20 current IT projects. When I asked him to name them all he couldn't. For the ones he could name, he did not have a next action on half of them. Most of these projects have a start date of January 1st and a completion date of December 31st. These are not projects. These are like resolutions people make...on new year's eve...while intoxicated.
     
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  17. kerem parlakgumus

    kerem parlakgumus Registered

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    dear all,
    thank you very much for your replies and informative, valuable thoughts.

    as i get, at least for each ACTİONABLE item, i should just specify, clarify the FIRST NEXT ACTİON for each todo or actionable item (can be a project)

    did i get it right or not?
     

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