2008-11-05, 12:14 PM
It warms my heart that Ken is aknowledging the need for giving more power to actions, although he has done so before...
Anyway, someone mentioned next actions being all mysterious and that so I thought I would talk a little on the philosophy behind those.
Imagine you have a mentally challanging task ahead like writing a document of some kind. If you simply think about writing the document your brain will come up with all sorts of reasons for not doing it. The more lazy you are, the more intelligent you are, the more imagination you have the scarier the horror movies about it will be... The trick is to trick your brain into thinking that you are not actually going to write that massive boring thing. You are "just" going to open the word processor and write the title of the document... Your brain will consider this a harmless task and let you proceed without horror movies playing on repeat. Quite often the rest of the document will sort of write itself once you get started and you will realise that it was not so bad after all.
This is the point of next actions. They should be simple stupid harmless physical tasks that any idot can perform without risking his/her life. The sole point of such a task is to get you started.
There is quite often no need to have a second task in your project because if you just manage to get started other tasks will naturally unfold.
It is important to be extremely granular with these tasks. "Clean garage" is not a good next action. It is too vague and more of a project and besides, any idot would not know exactly how to start that. You need something like "walk into garage and put old empty paint cans into big plastic bag". That might at least get you started.
Oh, and if you go ahead with this kind of system setup you might not want to show your OF tasks to anyone else; they might think you are a bit daft. :)