Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


What's the Next Inaction

Spring is in the air, and I'm up to some spring cleaning. Earlier this week, I mentioned that I felt the need to re-ground my self in the basics of GTD. I'm still listening to the Getting Things Fast audio and it's still helping.

As I emerge from my Stuck Place in the quicksand, I wanted to share a blinding flash I've had.

It seems that my kung fu has gotten rusty. I've drifted away from defining next actions crisply enough, and have been defining a bunch of near-actions instead. I'm now calling them 'next inactions' for lack of a better descriptor.

I'm sharing this because you may have some too.

What's a next inaction? An example from my list is "Make dentist appointment." Sounds remarkably 'next action-like' doesn't it? But, it wasn't on my @calls list, didn't have the phone number associated with it in any way, etc.

I've found quite a few of those. Along with ambiguous things like "John comp" - what am I supposed to do there?

The solution is easy, and once upon a time I did it pretty consistently. Just answer the questions:

  • What's the successful outcome?
  • What the physical next action with no dependencies?

Nothing to it, right? ... Back on the horse.