This isn't exactly a next step but an evolution on Get Clear. I am not stopping my search to get clear; I just have emptied that level of my brain that I am not actively thinking of anything. Am I completely clear? No, my subconscious is working on many different levels on many different things and they can come up at any time. If anything comes to mind to distract me from getting current I note it on an index card or page and put it in my inbox (making sure to date it)
Usually at this stage I analyze, where am I most unclear, what is the first thing to come to mind?
It could be my Project list or it could be an NA list. If I feel like my contexts are becoming overwhelming and hard to prioritize intuitively I will go there first, if I feel like I may have a lot of open loops in projects I will review that first. Let's say I decide on projects:
My projects are categories in outlook named Projects - work and Projects - home. They are filtered by the word Projects so they display in the same view grouped by categories (separate but in the same context)
If I am reviewing projects, I am checking each project one at a time and making sure 2 things are true.
- Each project has a clear outcome defined. If the outcome is obvious based on what I have named the project, I move to the next project, if not I define what that is in the project notes.
- I have at least one action defined in an appropriate context. I will make notes in the task notes depending on what I decide, what context the NA is in (@calls, @email, @home) and the date I decided to do this. This comes in handy next week when I review again because if I calendared the NA I know this is taken care of.
If I am unclear about any NA contexts I will review those next, these are usually @home and @@@office (Multiple @ for sorting).
Once again I review each NA one at a time and this is what I am looking for:
- The NA is a clear next action; it is not an outcome or a project.
- It is associated with a project. I used to note this in the subject with RE: PROJECT NAME but now I am noting it in the contacts field (Thank you Jim McCullen) in outlook 'Project Name (I put a single quote before it so Outlook doesn't confuse it with any existing contacts)
If an NA is not associated with a project I analyze why it is in the list and if it is related to larger outcomes such as goals, roles, responsibilities, vision, or purpose. If it isn't I question why it was on there and usually delete or defer it (Sometimes these are work tasks that have been delegated that aren't related to any projects, if that is the case I connect them with the responsibility - 'Other tasks as needed. :)