Sunday, 20 May 2012

Doing the NEXT Next Action

If you’ve done GTD, you know that the concept of doing your thinking up-front is one of the most powerful tools in the GTD arsenal. Clarifying the precise ACTION and its context when defining a Next Action lets you maintain your productivity level even when your brain is running on fumes.

And planning a Next Action means just that. You don’t need to plan beyond what’s next. So what do you do when that Next Action is done?

 a- Do you skip between pre-defined Next Actions, from Project 1 to Project 2 to Project 3, checking them off one by one and tell your mind that, tomorrow, it will have to re-think where you left off in your project and come up with the next Next Action or

b- Stick with Project 1 and do the next Next Action right now, and the next one after that.

Here’s why you should choose b:

“Next Action” is meant as a kick-start to get your brain into the flow of a project. The engagement actually doing that Next Action immerses your mind and body in the reality of the Project, giving you a much clearer picture of what to do next than you would tomorrow during your morning planning session.

By going with the flow, and sticking with Project 1 as long as your context allows, you cut down on the time needed to “define your work”, since you’re not planning every Next Action. You’re just doing them.

Getting Things Done is about getting things DONE, not about checking actions off a list. Get to “action Z” (project DONE) faster by going with the flow and sticking with one project for as long as possible.

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