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A Next Action and a Project – Getting Things Done


Do you ever have a simple task that gets put off for no good reason? You know, something you’ve been needing to do, but just can’t get it done?

I’ve been needing to get a dental checkup for quite some time. I don’t have any teeth problems, but I want to get back on a six month checkup schedule. Since insurance pays for it, why not?

The problem has been that I just couldn’t get motivated to do it. I’ve put it off, delayed, and not thought about. But all the while it was nagging at my subconscious.

I solved the problem. With a simple GTD trick, things are moving along.

Two days ago I added “dentist” to my project list. I finally followed David Allen’s advice and put my stake in the ground. I held myself responsible for the outcome of getting to the dentist.

Then I added “lookup local dentists” to my list of next actions. This gave me an easy, tangible thing I could do to get closer to my goal.

The outcome has been very positive so far. I don’t have an appointment yet, but I’m closer than before. I have a dentist’s phone number and address. I just called to get an appointment, but they are closed on Fridays. Argh!

Hopefully I’ll get this project done in a couple weeks. It will probably take that long to find an opening with the dentist and get the appointment over with (if I’m lucky). But then I can take “dentist” off my project list. It will truly be out of sight & out of mind.

Lesson learned – If you have something you need to do, put your stake in the ground. Add it to your project list and come up with a tangible next action to do. You’ll be done in no time.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user natural gas.

[tags]legal andrew, next action, getting things done, gtd[/tags]

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