Organizing Information


Getting Things Done: A Guide To Next-Action Lists


Getting Things Done (GTD), is a productivity methodology designed by David Allen. GTD increases your productivity by getting things out of your mind, and into a reliable system that you can trust. This frees your mind to work on the task at hand, instead of trying to remember a myriad of things at once. You will find yourself more relaxed, and more productive at the same time.

In particular, one easy-to-use part of GTD (which I describe later), only takes 2 minutes to learn, but can increase your efficiency by phonemenal levels.

There are many parts to GTD. One important component is next-action lists, which replace to-do lists in other methodologies.

David Allen realised that in today's dynamic society, todo lists, daily plans, etc, often do not work. If everything and everyone around you is going 100% to plan they can work, but how often does everything go according to plan? A meeting runs longer than expected, the report you need isn't ready yet, or the computer network goes down for an hour, and your whole day can go out of whack.

David Allen's solution to this was next action lists. Rather than plan out the day based on projects, you list the next-action items for tasks you have to do. You record these next-actions into separate lists based on context.

This is best shown with an example...

Suppose you had the following todo list:

  • Research buying new Palm pilot
  • Arrange next marketing meeting
  • Service car
  • Buy new Apple Mac
  • Cancel magazine subscription
  • Prepare for the department meeting

The first step in GTD is to change the list to be based on the next physical action for each project:

  • Search online to find different potential Palm Pilots to buy
  • Phone John to arrange next marketing meeting
  • Look in car manual to find qualified mechanic for car
  • Phone Apple Reseller and buy new Apple Mac
  • Phone and cancel magazine subscription
  • Print out the financial report for the department meeting

By listing the next specific physical action, it becomes much easier to proceed on the projects. You might procrastinate on "Prepare for the department meeting", but "Print out the financial report for the department meeting", seems like a much easier thing for you to tackle, and therefore, you are MUCH more likely to get it done. Just this one idea alone will increase your productivity dramatically! It seems simple, but it is actually quite profound, because it focuses your mind on ACTION.

The next step in Getting Things Done, is to move these next-action's into separate lists based on context:

@Phone (Things I can do when I am at a phone):

  • Phone John to arrange next marketing meeting
  • Phone and cancel magazine subscription
  • Phone Apple Reseller and buy new Apple Mac

@Computer:

  • Search online to find different potential Palm Pilots to buy
  • Print out the financial report for the department meeting

@Home:

  • Look in car manual to find qualified mechanic for car

Why have separate lists? The main benefit is that it lets you look at the tasks that are only suitable to where you are at the moment. If you are at work, you aren't distracted by the tasks that are on the @Home list, and if you are at home, you aren't distracted by the work tasks. The actual GTD contexts that you use are up to you. The standard ones that David Allen recommends are generally based on location (like the ones above), but you can use whatever works best for you.

Another benefit of separating out the lists into contexts is that it becomes easy to change what you are working on quickly if something goes wrong. Suppose your in the middle of some research online, and the computer network goes down. Whilst other people might decide it's time for a coffee break, you can just look at you phone list, and start tackling some of the @Phone tasks instead.

Breaking your todo lists into next-action lists based on context may seem like a lot more work than a standard todo list, but it isn't really. It only takes a little bit longer to plan, but the increase in productivity more than compensates for this.

Next-Actions lists are a small part of the Getting Things Done methodology. They are useful on their own, but their power is multiplied when used with the rest of David Allen's system. GTD is incredibly effective, and I highly encourage you to try it out for yourself, by reading David Allen's book ("Getting Things Done: The Art Of Stress Free Productivity"), or by trying out some GTD software.

Dan Fletcher is a developer at dogMelon. They make Note Studio, an easy-to-use tool, being used for GTD on Palms, PC's, and Macs.


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


ABC 12 News (press release)

Judge Mathis organizing water caravan and rally in Flint November 1st
ABC 12 News (press release)
DETROIT, Michigan (WJRT) - (09/24/2018) - A famous TV judge is organizing a large water caravan to bring additional relief to Flint. It'll happen just days before the election day. It's not the first time he's been to Flint. "Judge Mathis ", as he's ...



GHS students organizing Fields of Faith
KPCnews.com
GHS students organizing Fields of Faith. GARRETT — Garrett High School's Fellowship of Christian Athlete's program is holding a Fields of Faith event on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. on Memorial Field at 801 E. Houston St. Student volunteers from many ...



Armenpress.am

All parliamentary factions ready to hold debates on organizing early parliamentary elections
Armenpress.am
YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 24, ARMENPRESS. The National Assembly factions are ready to negotiate with PM Pashinyan about the terms and conditions of early parliamentary elections, representatives of the factions told ARMENPRESS, commenting on the ...

and more »


Christian Science Monitor

Female entrepreneurs in Ghana gain organizing power
Christian Science Monitor
It was the first time vendors had pushed back with such success – normally if they are given an alternate marketplace at all, it is unusable, said the advocacy group Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO). But the case is ...

and more »


Frederick News Post

Group organizing to oppose I-270 toll lanes
Frederick News Post
Opponents of a proposal to add toll lanes to Interstate 270 will have a meeting Monday night in Frederick. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the C. Burr Artz Public Library, 110 E. Patrick St., Frederick, said Ben Ross, chairman of the Maryland ...



Lawsuit accuses Spotify exec of discrimination, organizing 'boys' trips'
HR Dive
A former Spotify sales leader filed suit in the New York Supreme Court against the company and one of its sales executives earlier this week accusing the executive "aiding and abetting gender discrimination," according to the court filing. The ...



Polygon

YouTube isn't interested in organizing esports tournaments, despite internal discussion
Polygon
YouTube played host to the summer's biggest esports tournament: Fortnite Friday. The tournament collected some of the best players in the world, including Ninja and Myth, and pitted them against 50 other top players, streamers and YouTube personalities.
Gaming - YouTubeYouTube
Official YouTube Blog: Gaming gets a new home on YouTubeOfficial YouTube Blog
YouTube launches new gaming destination, admits that the separate app was a bustThe Verge

all 113 news articles »


Real Simple

6 Entryway Closet Organizing Ideas to Simplify Your Morning Routine
Real Simple
This month, we worked with designers and professional organizers to transform a four-bedroom penthouse in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. And no surprise, thanks to the organizing pros at the NEAT Method and a custom closet ...



Network Complexity, 5G Rollouts Will Drive SON (Self-Organizing Network) Spending to $5.5 Billion, Finds New Report
Digital Journal
MarketResearchReprots.com has announced the addition of “SON (Self-Organizing Networks) in the 5G Era: 2019 - 2030 - Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies & Forecasts” research report to their website www.MarketResearchReports.com. This press ...



Baltimore Sun

June Y. Coury, homemaker who loved organizing family gatherings, dies
Baltimore Sun
June Y. Coury, a homemaker who was proud of her Southern heritage, died Aug. 25 from cancer at her Towson home. She was 88. The former June Dresda Bobo was born in Pilot Oak, Ky., and raised in Christmasville, Tenn. She was the daughter of Foster ...


Google News

home | site map
© 2007