Next action

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-In the [[Getting Things Done]] Process, when breaking down a Project into multiple steps, what is the very next thing that needs to be done for that project? This is the Next Action or NA, and it represents one of the most vital ideas of the GTD system.+[[Getting Things Done]] recommends identifying the very next action ("NA") in your projects.
-There is also an emphasis on a Next Action being an actual physical action (Read Article, Call Vet, Dust Shelf, File Report) versus vague, too-broad items (Complete Project, Deal With Fluffy, Clean House, Clear Off Desk).+The next action is actually a ''physical action.'' For example, if the next thing you need to do is talk with Jan about something, then your next action is "find the address book, look up Jan."
 +The idea (as described in GTD) is that by focusing on ''only'' the very next action, we make the task more palpitable to our mind. "I don't know that I have time and [[will]] to ''do my taxes,'' but I ''do'' have the time and energy to find the address book."
 +
 +After you have the address book in hand, it's a short step to looking up Jan, and once you're staring at her phone number, it's just a matter of course to dialing Jan. When she says, "Hello?", what naturally follows is what you meant to call her about.
 +
 +But don't worry your head with all those details; You just focus on getting the address book. And that's ''all'' you put on your next actions list: "Find address book, Jan's phone number."
 +
 +The Next Action should ''always'' be an ''actual physical action.'' Pick up the paper and read an article, look up the number to the vet, find the duster, fetch the report. Avoid vague (and cumbersome sounding!) items like: "Complete the Project, Deal with Fluffy, Clean the House, Clear off the Desk." See all those capital letters in there? That's what it feels like, to your mind.
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Revision as of 03:35, 13 August 2005

Getting Things Done recommends identifying the very next action ("NA") in your projects.

The next action is actually a physical action. For example, if the next thing you need to do is talk with Jan about something, then your next action is "find the address book, look up Jan."

The idea (as described in GTD) is that by focusing on only the very next action, we make the task more palpitable to our mind. "I don't know that I have time and will to do my taxes, but I do have the time and energy to find the address book."

After you have the address book in hand, it's a short step to looking up Jan, and once you're staring at her phone number, it's just a matter of course to dialing Jan. When she says, "Hello?", what naturally follows is what you meant to call her about.

But don't worry your head with all those details; You just focus on getting the address book. And that's all you put on your next actions list: "Find address book, Jan's phone number."

The Next Action should always be an actual physical action. Pick up the paper and read an article, look up the number to the vet, find the duster, fetch the report. Avoid vague (and cumbersome sounding!) items like: "Complete the Project, Deal with Fluffy, Clean the House, Clear off the Desk." See all those capital letters in there? That's what it feels like, to your mind.

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