by oneafrikan on May 6, 2009
I’ve been working a lot lately on trying to streamline and rationalise everything in my head, for various reasons, and have found that the difference between projects and actions can be blurry when thinking of things broadly. The killer has been going through each of my projects, and ruthlessly thinking about what the “next action” is.
I can’t do everything at once, so having a smaller list of next actions is the best way for me to think about what I need to do across my 50 odd active (current, not someday / maybe) projects. When an action is done for the project, I then assign a next action.
When I started going into each project, it’s pretty clear that some stuff is only ever going to have one action (get car cleaned) -> so it’s not a project. When I found many “actions” within a project (they’re aligned for the same purpose or goal), then the next action becomes most important as it defines the starting point for the project, as well as the mental block you have to overcome to create progress and momentum.
So, my learning is this:
Next actions are essential for rationalising priority and allocation of time.
Projects should have more than one action (ala David Allen), focus should be on the very next action.
Ruthless pruning of projects, actions and mental RAM is essential for sanity ;-)
What are your thoughts / experiences?