planning Archives - Next Action Associates
Cognitive Load

Cognitive Load

Over the past few years, I’ve become aware of the idea of “cognitive load”. This refers to the extent to which your working memory is occupied by things your brain is processing. It has been a subject of study in the last 20 years or so, particularly with reference to...
Slow Yew Down

Slow Yew Down

It wasn’t a good look for a teacher of the art of stress-free productivity – sweating bullets as I balanced unsteadily at Gate 43 in Lisbon Airport with an open laptop clutched in one hand and the other trying to open a passport on the right page. I uttered some...
Motivational Streaker – part 2

Motivational Streaker – part 2

  In this second instalment on persistence with difficult things that take a long time, we look at some more ways to help you get motivated to stay motivated. Let’s assume you have a clear and inspiring goal, and a plan on how to get there. All good, right? Not...
Motivational Streaker

Motivational Streaker

The approach is called ‘Getting Things Done®’. Some of those ‘things’ happen quickly and easily. Some are difficult and take much more patience and persistence. This two-part piece is about how to motivate yourself to go from twinkle in the eye to consistent progress...
Never Decreasing Circles

Never Decreasing Circles

I’ve been reading a book on human movement concurrently with a book on the lives of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. The rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle of a productivity expert, for sure. These days, the fittest of us get something like 300 minutes – or 6 hours – of movement...
There’s No Such Thing As An E-Lunch

There’s No Such Thing As An E-Lunch

“Not that way.” At the end of a brief meeting with a potential coaching client, I’d stood up to go for lunch with them, and headed for the door I’d been let in through. My error, apparently. “I thought we were going to lunch,” I said. “We are. I just don’t want to go...
Goals to Get Out of Gaol

Goals to Get Out of Gaol

At the start of this Covid time, there were many GTD® articles about reviewing your Higher Horizons. Suddenly the Projects you thought would be your focus for the coming months were on hold and Next Actions needed to be moved to new lists with names like ‘post...
Blurred Lines

Blurred Lines

Hands up if you’re looking forward to the resumption of your commute…? Despite the fact that it’s April Fools’ day as this blog goes to press, it’s not a trick question. The commute gets a bad rap in popular culture, its imagery that of monstrous tailbacks on the M25...
Enigma Variations

Enigma Variations

Enigma: a person or thing that is mysterious or difficult to understand (see Weekly Review®) Variation: a different or distinct form or version of something First, I should mention that many people who tell me they can’t stick with a Weekly Review habit are also those...
Flow, flow, flow your boat…

Flow, flow, flow your boat…

Again? Can’t be. We stopped paddling to allow ourselves to focus. Sure enough, there they were: an older couple, drifting along in their inflatable canoe. Ahead of us, again. My canoeing partner and I exchanged minor expletives under our breath. We were about 90...
To Adapt or Not to Adapt, That is the Question

To Adapt or Not to Adapt, That is the Question

I always thought I was far too young to be needing check lists. In my mind, check lists were the inevitable accessory for (generally speaking) parents, and in particular my parents, when they were preparing our ski vacations and making sure that everybody in the...
Self-Help Tips For the Christmas Holiday Season

Self-Help Tips For the Christmas Holiday Season

Todd Brown talks about how to use your Getting Things Done® (GTD®) system to help you get through the Christmas holiday season as friction-free as possible. Utilising the right tools and processes to keep you organised during this busy festive period will result in...
Passports and Pinball

Passports and Pinball

Ever seen a pinball machine? Great, then you’ll have a mental image of a metal ball pinging around under glass, side-to-side and up-and-down, flippers flipping and lights flashing for as long as you can stop it from disappearing down the hole. I sometimes use this odd...
A Tale of Two Children

A Tale of Two Children

Any parent with more than one child knows that however identically you think you treat them, kids grow up completely different to each other. It’s a humbling realisation, how little influence you really have. I have two children who have moved through high school two...
What Could Go Wrong?

What Could Go Wrong?

No part of me is more English than my need for a regular cup of tea. So, with the end of the webinar that I’d been delivering close at hand, my attention was turning to a hard-earned cuppa. For this reason, perhaps, I was caught slightly off-guard by the excellent...
Train Wreck on an Airplane

Train Wreck on an Airplane

I was flying out to Lisbon the other day, and noticed – yet again, with almost self-harm triggering frustration – just how crazy long it was taking to get us passengers onto the plane. To give them credit, the airline was going through the motions of making it faster,...
GTD, the Future Vision and the Power of Outcome Thinking

GTD, the Future Vision and the Power of Outcome Thinking

This week I talk about the power of outcome thinking and defining visions for ourselves of the future we want to create. Using the Getting Things Done® (GTD®) methodology, we can create the best possible outcomes based on desirable visions of our future, leading to a...
Kill Your Darlings

Kill Your Darlings

It is a truth universally acknowledged that if you gather together musicians of a certain age, eventually they will start quoting ‘This Is Spinal Tap’. Rob Reiner’s 1984 mockumentary – if you will, rockumentary – chronicles the demise and fall of one of...
Enforced Idleness

Enforced Idleness

Susan Hunter, currently in limbo, works to create order in service and manufacturing organisations, from privately owned SMEs to large international groups, in the UK, Continental Europe and North Africa. Susan is a graduate of London University and has a diploma in...
Chasing Pavements

Chasing Pavements

Ever heard of desire paths? Although the name might conjure an image of the trail of underclothes between the sofa and the bed in a Hollywood love scene, the reality is slightly more prosaic (not to mention less fun). According to Wikipedia, desire paths are...
Weekly Hot Chocolate: Family Management With GTD®

Weekly Hot Chocolate: Family Management With GTD®

Written by Moni Danner. When new parents return to work after maternity/paternity leave, they are often noticeably more efficient than before. Managing family life, especially with small children, forces us into a tighter temporal corset, and that demands pretty...