View Full Version : The concept of time in NA
09-04-2011, 04:21 AM
If I have a list of household NAs, for example, and according to GTD I'm supposed to do them in order, how does the time it takes to complete an NA factor in here? If I only have, say, 1/2 hour right now I really need to look at only those things that fit in that time block. Does anyone use the time as a context, like @15min, @hour, @severalhours? Is there a better way to think about it?
09-04-2011, 06:14 AM
I've tried time categories like that, and found them incredibly annoying. Sometimes it's more important to do part of a longer project when I have a small amount of time, and sometimes it's better to get small things completed.
I don't read GTD to require that I do the next thing on the list. David talks in several of the podcasts about the power of intuition- once you have a list, use your intuition about which thing on the list you should or want to do next. Once I got used to it, I scrapped both time and due dates/priorities. I know what the big things are, and the important ones. I also know when my brain just isn't ready for that big project, and I'd do better to use the time cleaning up several small ones. That's been far more useful to me than doing things in any preset order.
good luck, and welcome to the forums!
09-04-2011, 11:21 AM
Kate is definitely right - don't feel that you have to do your NAs in a set order. I find my lists are all about intuition and energy (once I have the context correct). I jump around my lists constantly, and would be really repelled by them if I couldn't make intuitive choices and felt forced to work down them systematically.
That said, if there is an item that I am constantly overlooking on my lists, in favour of something else, it triggers an alarm - why do I not want to do this? Usually it has to do with the wording of the task, and not being granular enough in describing my next action.
09-04-2011, 03:49 PM
I did try putting time tags on my tasks (<0.5h, <1hr, < 2hr, <4hrs, <8hrs), and found it overcomplicated things and made sorting my lists and organising them harder. The next action is meant to be a bookmark, so with most things you just start, when you want to finish because you're tired or have a calendar activity to do, you just stop and put in the next action, so for a lot of things the time is irrelevant. The only time you care about time is if its limited, so for most tasks I don't use any time tags, but the few that can be done in a short amount of time (eg 15mins or less) use the tag "Quick", so if time is an issue and I want a list of quick items, I can easily sort my lists by Context and "Quick" and then just choose which one I want to do.
09-04-2011, 10:02 PM
A Next Action is a bookmark and a starting point to move a Project into the right direction.
There's no requirement to complete a Next Action.
Use your intuition to assess if you'll be able to complete a Next Action in a time that's at your disposal but there's nothing wrong when you make a mistake. Just do what you can and rephrase a Next Action - a Project is closer to the Successful Outcome now!