De-Clutter Your To Do List: Using ‘Next Actions’ For Laser-Focus

On the face of it, autograph down all the things you accept to get done seems an able way to analyze and ascertain the day advanced and so focus our efforts on what needs to be done. Given that, not surprisingly, the To Do account has become one of the mainstays of acceptable assignment and time management.

And so, while bigger means of assignment administration exist, like the ‘next activity thinking’ categorical below, too abounding of us stick with the To Do list, even admitting it doesn’t plan and can in actuality accomplish us even beneath able and productive.

Here’s how acceptable to do lists can, in fact, cabal adjoin aimless users:

1. Cluttering-up Your List.

It’s all too simple for a To Do account to become a auctioning arena not just for what we are declared to be alive on today, but aswell for every added tasks, abstraction and anticipation that comes our way. As a result, our To Do lists bound become abounding with accidental ataxia that ‘camouflages’ what we absolutely should be doing.

2. Creating a Sense of ‘Overwhelm’.

When we charge our To Do lists like this, we aswell reinforce our activity of ‘overwhelm’ that makes us anytime added afraid that we accept too abundant to do and in about-face affects our claimed achievement and productivity.

3. Encouraging Cherry-Picking.

By bushing our account with an barrage of added low amount items, we can end up ‘cherry picking’, in added words allotment simple to do items that at the end of the day accomplish us feel ‘we’ve accomplished’, even admitting what we’ve done hasn’t confused us added forward.

4. Breeding Amorphous Blobs of Un-doability.

The items we about put on our To Do lists, are generally just ‘project reminders’ like ‘Create Brochure’, ‘Plan Wedding’, or ‘Organize Conference’. But these are in actuality too big to be applied actions.

So, while these things may be on our To Do list, they don’t in actuality accord us annihilation to do at all. These tasks accept no focus and are what abundance expert, David Allen, developer of the Getting Things Done System of assignment management, calls ‘amorphous blobs of un-doability’.

5. Account Fatigue.

When To Do lists don’t plan well, we can bound advance ‘list fatigue’, gradually endlessly application them until we don’t even attending at them at all.

So, if the acceptable To Do account can be added of albatross than a help, what is the way advanced for anyone absent to yield their abundance to anytime college levels?

Simply by allurement one question:

‘What is the Next Activity I charge to

complete to move this activity forward?’

Ask this individual catechism if abutting any activity or ample assignment and your claimed capability will arise to new levels.

By consistently allurement yourself about anniversary of your projects – ‘What is the Next Action? – you can breach down even the better activity into baby bite-sized pieces.

Even a massive adventure like the Olympics alone happens because of millions and millions of baby completed Next Accomplishments – buzz calls, conversations, memos, reports, affairs abiding and abounding – that collectively accomplish ‘impossible dreams’ closing reality.

Given this, it’s simple to see why the ability of Next Accomplishments helps you abstain the peril of dabbling and the activity of beat that can action if you are faced with any ample project.

By apperception on demography the Next Action, we are never at a accident as to what do.

Breaking ample projects into abate pieces aswell makes it abundant easier to appraisal how continued anniversary will yield and so actuate a added authentic timeline for the absolute project, acute if you are alive to a borderline or accept assorted projects on the go.

So, here’s a applied four date access to application Next Accomplishments in your plan and claimed life, as against to aggravating to administer the generally ample and unfocused items that accomplish it on to acceptable To Do lists.

The 4-Step Plan for Application Next-Actions.

1. Brainstorm Your Next Actions.

One, if you can’t analyze a Next Action, again use brainstorming, or adroitness accoutrement such as Mindmapping, to appear up with all accessible options until you accept begin the Next Action.

This isn’t time ashen as a lot of of the account you appear up with will in about-face become Next Accomplishments themselves as the activity progresses.

2. Double-Check Your Selection.

Make abiding you absolutely accept articular the Next Action. ‘Phone Fred to align meeting’ may assume like the Next Action, but not if you don’t accept his buzz number, in which case, ‘Phone Karen to get Fred’s buzz number’, is the absolute Next Action.

If you are not careful, projects can arrest because for some acumen you are clumsy to advance assimilate the Next Activity you accept identified.

3. Use Verbs.

Write your Next Accomplishments down application an alive ‘doing’ verb such as phone, write, visit, speak. If your Next Activity is accounting application unfocused words like – arrange, organize, analysis – again you will apparently acquisition it’s not a Next Activity at all, and it needs to be ‘unpacked.’

4. Accomplish Use of ‘Smart’ Tools.

Maximize the abeyant of ‘Next Activity thinking’ by application new bearing assignment administration applications rather than ‘traditional’ To Do account software.

This blazon of software, including ShoutDone of course, is a above advance on acceptable To Do account software because it offers not alone a added adjustable and absorbing user experience, but aswell one that lets your adapt and administer your Next Accomplishments by assorted ‘contexts’.

Though some tasks are ‘universal’, abounding tasks can alone be done if you are in a accurate ‘context’ such as the appropriate abode (home, office, town); accept the appropriate accessories (computer, phone); or are with the appropriate being (wife, husband, colleague, boss).

The New Approach: ‘Living Lists’.

New assignment administration accoutrement accord you the adaptability to attach Next Accomplishments to both assorted projects and contexts, so that whenever and wherever you are, you will consistently be able to alarm up the appropriate Next Activity for the moment.

This isn’t something that accepted To Account software commonly lets you do.

‘Next Activity thinking’ is one of a lot of able abundance acceptable accoutrement around. Use it in both your plan and claimed activity and you will accompany a laser-like focus to all that you charge to do, accomplishing more, and accomplishing so faster and with greater capability than anytime before.

About the author:

Rich Butterworth is architect of Shout Internet, makers of acute to do account software, ShoutDone.

To download your chargeless archetype of ShoutDone, and for added online writing about added abundance and assignment management, appointment ShoutDone To Do Account Software.