My highly simplified take on David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done, is aimed at
You do this over and over until you’ve finished the project (and in the meantime, you’ll have other projects arise so your lists will always be changing).
Key to making these master lists functional is reviewing them at least once a week. You review each item and ask, “what’s the next action?” Your next action may be to defer working on a project until a specific date, so you aren’t attending to too many tasks.
Your next actions create your true to-do list because each task is the thing that you must act on before you can do anything else. You can schedule next actions throughout your week. During your planned review, you acknowledge what you’ve done and move onto identifying and scheduling the next step.
Whenever I find myself staring at a project on my to-do list that isn’t getting done, I’ve come to realize that it’s because I haven’t identified what I’m supposed to be doing next. Instead, I’m focused on the goal instead of the path I need to travel to reach the end.
Want to get things done and declutter that to-do list? I can give you a gentle prod that will help you identify your next steps and keep you moving through your project with accountability emails that offer one-on-one coaching.
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I help people focus on what's important to them by guiding them through clearing clutter and distractions from their lives. I teach decluttering and organizing skills through articles; books; courses; speaking engagements; as well as virtual coaching sessions.