Need some help from those that are masters of the "next action"

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by KW7, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    Here's the current official GTD definition at: https://gettingthingsdone.com/about/
     
  2. frank F

    frank F Registered

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    @Gardener @mcogilvie I fully agree with everything you are saying. I need to rethink my definitions. I guess after so much frustration with other tools I have come to consider NIrvana as the holy grail but of course it's not and does not cover everything :)
     
  3. Sarahsuccess

    Sarahsuccess Registered

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    David Allen says (in the The book Making It All Work by David Allen on page 111) "Once you really integrate [the] clarification process into your life-and work style, you will find yourself comfortable with a wide range of tools that can genuinely work for you. If you haven't applied this process, nothing will seem to serve you very well."

    It’s important to really understand the Clarification stage of GTD. The workflow chart is a very helpful tool for this. A true understanding and implementation of the Clarification stage, with the help of the workflow chart (is it actionable? -> no -> trash, reference or someday/maybe -> yes -> what is the next action? etc) help to determine the next action(s)

    Sarah
     
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  4. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    This is my experience too. GTD is a way of thinking, not a tool or tools. GTD is implemented in a variety of ways suited to each person and their ways of thinking and preferences in interacting with their world but the core of GTD does not change.
     
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  5. Jared Caron

    Jared Caron Registered

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    Your instinct is correct, that the context lists really should only have next actions. If you're finding that you are uneasy about this, you are probably not fully trusting your system yet. So that is usually a signal that some part of it needs tweaking. Some thoughts:

    1. Where and how are you storing project support material? is it easy to access with zero friction? If you resist opening up your project support material, you wont trust it and therefore you will want to park the future actions and planning information in with your "current" work of next actions.
    2. Are you doing regular Weekly Reviews? there's a reason David calls this the critical success factor. It ties everything together. If its inconsistent, the system will grow stale and distrust will creep in, leading to workarounds that introduce residue and friction into the system. "weekly' can be taken with a grain of salt. "regular" however is a must.
    3. If you answered "yes" to #2: Are you waiting until the Weekly Review to update next action lists? This is a common snag with projects. If you're waiting until the weekly review to put the next action in sequence onto your lists, and you actually need to move that next action forward sooner, you will distrust the system. capture your next actions as you complete. Sometimes, you don't need support material or future actions because the completion triggers thinking up the next action. Sometimes you may need to do a quick review of project support; which is why #1 above is also important.
    4. Are your next actions truly next actions? as oogie said somewhere earlier in this thread, the clarifying map is the thinking process at the core of GTD. Learn to slow down. Identify the next action, use a strong verb. I suggest writing your next actions as instructions to your future self. What does doing look like? everything else that's not the next action (future actions, plans, ideas, and checklists) goes in project support (see #1).
    All of that said, GTD takes time. Its a lifelong pathway of mastery. Be patient with the process. Early on i used to worry about "whether i was doing GTD 'right'" whenever my system was not working optimally. Just keep tweaking, but I would focus on the thinking process before your tools. If you haven't checked out connect yet, i would highly recommend as a way to level-up your system and thinking about GTD. Its well worth the investment.

    Hope it helps.
     

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