Projects and Next Actions

kreskein

Registered
Hi All,

I'm getting on the wagon again!

Does every project have to have a next action if you are not ready to start working on the project?

For instance, I have a project called "All the Hard Drives are Either Used or Discarded"

It is on my projects lists. However, myloweslife I don't have time to do anything on it at this point.

Can I just leave it there with no next actions or anything?

When I am ready to start working on it, then I add the next actions, etc?
 
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TamaraM

Registered
My understanding is that projects that you are not committed to working on now should go on the Someday/Maybe list, not your Projects list. If it's on your Projects list, you have committed to to doing it as soon as possible considering your other commitments, and therefore it has one or more associated Next Actions.
 

John Ismyname

Registered
Does every project have to have a next action if you are not ready to start working on the project?
I have a re-ocurring project called "Income tax" - The soonest this project can start is Jan 1st. If I was an American, this project would end with me filing my tax return by April 15th. I am unable to start working on my next tax return until Jan 1, 2021. Thus, I have a project that I am committed to but there is no @ next action.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
I have a re-ocurring project called "Income tax" - The soonest this project can start is Jan 1st. If I was an American, this project would end with me filing my tax return by April 15th. I am unable to start working on my next tax return until Jan 1, 2021. Thus, I have a project that I am committed to but there is no @ next action.
Just to follow up on this, different people have different kinds of projects, use different tools and have different sensibilities. Take the income tax project. I would call it “Income taxes filed” because that’s how I like to state my projects. Because I use a list tool that supports scheduled start dates, I would schedule it to start at a later date. It would not appear as a current project until that date. Another person might put the start date on the calendar, or in a tickler, digital or paper-based. I wouldn’t put in on my calendar, because I am much better with persistent lists than calendar items. My last resort, perhaps if I were using paper, would be to put in on a current project list. Even then, I would write it as “Income taxes filed (start 1-1-21).”

On the other hand, maybe you have a project where you haven’t decided how to proceed on. For me, that usually leads to a process next action, often on the @anywhere list, for example, “Decide what to do about tax audit” or even “Decided what to do about tax audit?” There are also projects where you are waiting for something, such as “Waiting for attorney on felony tax evasion charges.” Those go on the waiting for list. Needless to say, one wants to use GTD to avoid having context collapse into a single @prison context. ;)
 

aderoy

Registered
For the Income Tax project - I would create a project 'Tax 2020' that would have the checklist of next actions for the year. Once filed it would be then 'complete'. A new tickler created for Tax 2021 that would be my bookmark for next year. My January folder in Tickler File would then have the check sheet for all the next actions required for a filing in April.

Since this is a recurring project a checklist of next items would be created so to make it easier to follow.
 

Oogiem

Registered
I have a re-ocurring project called "Income tax" -
Mine is a recurring project with a start date and an auto complete once the final tasks are done so my project resets automatically to the next year once I finish this one. I use my task manager, Omnifocus, to hold checklist type things like this and fully half of my project are of that sort. I have hundreds of recurring projects that have start and end times during the year. I group them into quarters because then it's easy to handle during my 12 week year quarterly reviews.
 

John Forrister

GTD Connect
Staff member
A few years ago I realized I had a nagging sense that something was off in my project name "20xx tax returns filed." Turns out that filing the returns did not complete the project for me. The project was complete only when I had either received the state and federal refunds, or confirmed that the state and federal tax payments had cleared my checking account. Because I file electronically, after filing I create two waiting fors.
WF email confirming that state return has been received
WF email confirming that federal return has been received

After those happen, I create two new waiting fors.
WF state refund/payment to clear checking account
WF federal refund/payment to clear checking account

When those are done, the project is done.
 
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