Here are some reasons why you may not be getting things done. Take a project or task you have that you haven’t completed yet and read through the list below until you find the most likely reason for it. Using the number(s) to the right of that reason, scroll down and see which Ready-Set-Do! script or next action can help you make some further progress on it.
• Someone you delegated an open loop to hasn’t closed the loop yet –> 10
• The open loop is not oriented toward (or articulated as) an overarching outcome –> 3, 6
• You are going numb to the growing complexity of your sum-total of commitments and obligations – because you aren’t doing your daily & weekly reviews regularly. You’ve lost the vertical and horizontal dimensions of your actionable landscape, and now you don’t know where to start or focus –> 8
• You aren’t in a place where you can close the loop –> 4
• You choose to do other things instead –> 9
• You don’t have the energy needed to close the loop –> 9
• You don’t have the open loop with you –> 5
• You don’t know what the open loop is –> 3
• You don’t know where the open loop is –> 3
• You don’t know where to put the loop once it’s closed, so you never close it –> 1
• You don’t know why you should close the loop –> 6
• You don’t like the amount of effort or time you mentally associate with closing that loop –> 7
• You don’t think you can close the loop perfectly so you don’t close the loop at all –> 9
• You don’t want to close the loop –> 7
• You haven’t been reminded to close the loop –> 8
• You haven’t been reminded to follow-up the open loop you’ve delegated to someone else –> 8
• You haven’t been reminded why you should close the loop –> 7
• You haven’t broken an actionable chunk into its individual, actionable bits – you can’t do chunks; you can only do bits –> 6
• You haven’t followed-up with the open loop you delegated to someone else –> 10
• You haven’t really agreed to close the loop yet. You haven’t taken personal responsibility for closing that loop – and thus you don’t admit IRresponsibility for leaving it open –> 9
• You haven’t thought of the open loop yet –> 2
• You like spending more time organizing your open loops than closing them –> 9
• You put the open loop somewhere you don’t see it. It’s hiding inside something somewhere you never review –> 6
• You refuse to close the loop –> 9
• You want to prove that you don’t have to close the loop if you don’t want to. “It’s you’re little way of stickin’ it to the Man. But sir? You are the Man. So, you’re stickin’ it to yourself! Maybe.” –> 9
• You’ve gotten used to not closing the loop. You’ve made a habit out of not closing it and the inertia is hard to break now –> 7
• Your mind freezes up between two or more open loops because it has to figure out which one to do first, so you do neither –> 6
• You refuse to close the loop because you’re afraid of what closing the loop will require you to do next. –> 7
For All GTDers:
(1) SET-UP YOUR OFFICE SPACE & PURGE REGULARLY
(2) EMPTY YOUR HEAD & COLLECT EVERYTHING IN YOUR INBOX
(3) PROCESS YOUR INBOX REGULARLY – What is it? Is it actionable? Can you do it in less than 2 min? etc.
(4) SPECIFY NEXT ACTIONS BY LOCATION CONTEXT AND MAKE SURE YOU FREQUENT THE LOCATIONS – @Home: Next action for you to do; @Computer: Next action for you to do
(5) ALWAYS KEEP YOUR ACTIONABLES & READ-REVIEWS WITH YOU – You never know when extra time or a boost of energy will present itself.
(6) REGULARLY CLARIFY/ORGANIZE ALL PROJECT COMPONENTS
(7) REVIEW EVERY PURPOSE, OUTCOME, & STANDARD ASSOCIATED WITH THAT OPEN LOOP.
(8) DO ALL OF YOUR WEEKLY REVIEW WEEKLY!!! AND IF YOU HAVEN’T DONE IT LATELY, DO IT NOW!!
(9) JUST DO IT!
(10) JUST FOLLOW IT UP!
For Ready-Set-Do! Users:
(1) Set-Up your office space & purge regularly. For your computer, make sure you have enough hard drive space and purge your drive of unneeded files regularly.
(2) Use the “Empty Your Head” script when you have any new ideas.
(4) Anytime you click “Incomplete” or are asked what the next physical action is, specify the next action in the format of “@Location: Next action for you to do” – or “Waiting for…”, “Waiting to…”,”Keep until…”. If the locations are not at your computer, choose “Make Action Lists”, print them out, and make sure you frequent the locations needed to get the loops closed.
(5) Use “Make Action Lists” (or one of the sync scripts there) to keep your Actionables and Read-Reviews portable; and always keep physical support folders for your Actionables & Read-Reviews on-hand.
(6) Run the “Get Clear on Projects” script or drop undefined projects on the “Get Clear On Projects (Droplet)” and clarify every single component — Purpose, Standards, Outcomes, Mission Critical, Key Milestones, & Deliverables. All components must be defined & sorted to the degree required – no excuses.
(7) Run the “Get Clear on Projects” script or drop projects with all components defined on the “Get Clear On Projects (Droplet)” and choose “More Clarity” for every one of them. This will allow you to review each element for new thoughts and will motivate you to close those open loops by reminding you of all the things having those loops closed will make possible for you. Alternatively, when doing the “Do Weekly Review”, commit yourself to choose “More Clarity” on every single project to remind you of your “why’s” for all of your open loops connected to projects. The more frequently you review the purpose, standards, and outcomes on your projects, the faster the loops on those projects will close.
(8) Set the “Do Weekly Review” script to run automatically every week using iCal and do it “no-matter-what” every week — and without skipping any part of the review. Leave no stone unturned! weekly! And if you haven’t done it lately, do it now!!
(9) Use the “Get Some Actionables Done” or “Get Some Reading Done” scripts and do the first things that show up “no-matter-what” – develop this as a habit & discipline. Or do the same using the “Do Daily Review” script every day.
(10) Use the “Follow Up Waiting Fors” script or the “Do Daily Review” script and follow up those waiting fors regularly.