View Full Version : Question about deferred actions
10-22-2006, 02:03 PM
I have a rookie question.
I am having trouble dealing with some of my deferred actions. I am trying to determine if I should use a 43-folder tickler system, and A to Z action folder to store material related to a deferred action. (I do already have an A to Z reference system for my reference material. ) Here is an example...
I am processing my in-basket as the 1st step to my weekly review. In my box I find an application for be a student ministry volunteer at my church. I cannot do it in less than 2 mins. Looks like it requires a lot of background and will take 20 -30 mins. There is no real deadline or urgency attached. I am already helping at the church but they will eventually need this application for me to be "official."
I put the NA as "Complete Student Ministry application" on my @office list.
So where do I put the application?
a. In my reference folders under "Southside Fellowship" (the church name)?
b. In my 43-folder tickler file under a day a week or two out that is about when I think I should do this and get it turned in?
c. In an A to Z action folder under "Southside Fellowship"?
10-22-2006, 02:15 PM
There is a folder for such things i.e. things which you're working on and have processed as a project or N/A (so you will have a prompt to remind you to go look in the folder). I've forgotten the appropriate name....project reference or some such.
And oh my, I just noticed where you live. I used to live up the road in Spartanburg (way back before BMW plant). How is life in the "big city"?
10-23-2006, 07:01 AM
Something like this I might keep in a "pending" tray or folder, unless you think that it warrants it's own folder in your A-Z reference. If you think that you'll need to reference a copy of it down the road, the latter may be the better place.
10-23-2006, 07:38 AM
DA's site used to have a list of 5 traveling folders that are handy to have. One of them was an "Action Support" folder. A folder to keep papers associated with next actions. This is one place. For me this becomes a dead-end file of unmade decisions, so I avoid it.
If you'll be keeping a copy of the application and want a place to store materials you'll receive after you submit the application, I'd go ahead and create a folder in reference. This is especially if you think you can fill out the form in one 30 minutes sessions without having to stop and track down other information.
However if the thirty minutes won't be in a solid block and you have project folders for other projects (and your A-Z action folder may be a project folder), I'd create a project folder for this. When it's complete, the project folder could be cleaned out and only those items you want to keep put back in the folder which is then filed in reference.
Also, since there is a lot of background information required, can you review the form within two minutes, determine what information will require the longest lead time and put that on your next action list. For example, if you need three written references, the first task may be to identify who you want to use as references, or it may be to contact three people and ask them to write letters.
10-23-2006, 10:14 AM
I have a traveling Next Action Support folder and a second inbox (that I keep in a drawer) for all next action support materials that don't necessarily warrant their own folder in your General Reference system. I would put "Complete Application for volunteer work (NAS)" into your NA list under @Home and then drop the application into the NAS inbox. In addition, by typing NAS after the entry on my next actions list, I always remember where the support information is stored. Hope this helps. Have a great day.
10-23-2006, 02:00 PM
Hey Larry - One option is an Action Support folder that holds those kind of "one-off" thing... notes, forms, etc. that we will need to complete an action that is captured somewhere in our system...calendar, @computer. Some folks I have coached have found value in this; they complete the form, make a copy, place the copy then in a reference folder in A-Z, submit the form, then capture an @waiting for so they can keep be reminded to check on the progress.
Just one way to consider...hope this helps.
10-24-2006, 10:03 AM
I'd like to reinforce SaddleSC's recommendation to make a note in the next action to tell you where to find the file.
10-24-2006, 12:04 PM
To me the the application is a project. So create a project file for it. Then if you want to defer the action for a week or two place it in your tickler file. Once it comes up schedule the time to complete it and get it off your plate.
At the moment it's just taking up space physical and mental!
11-22-2006, 10:51 AM
Thank you all for your repsonses to my Deferred action support question. These ideas were very helpful.