1. Wrong Location Context
Is it the right context to get done? If not, change the location context to a location context that will provide the best ambience for getting that thing done.
2. Infrequent Visitation of Location Context
Are you visiting the location context frequently enough? If not, schedule more frequent visits to that location context so that items in that context are getting done.
3. Actionable is Still Too Chunky
Is there more than one thing on the page to do? If so, separate out into individual things to do and re-assign appropriate location contexts for each one. Employ the one-at-a-time principle throughout your paper-based and digital inventories of projects and actions so you can focus and get each one done.
4. Circumstances Related to the Outcome or Actionable Have Changed
Does the item need to be re-thought because circumstances related to it have changed? If so, re-adjust and re-calibrate action with original outcome vision in light of these new circumstances; or, re-adjust the outcome vision in light of these new circumstances and re-calibrate this action in accordance with that more newly articulated outcome.
5. It Lacks Connection with a Carefully Articulated Outcome
Is the outcome vision specified with the next action for that item? If not, articulate the outcome vision for that item and write it with the next action. ‘Done’ would mean… what? Describe it in past tense.
6. It Lacks the Emotional Investment that Originally Created It
Are you still emotionally invested in the outcome of that action? If not, either ‘activate’ the actionable by re-articulating the outcome it is related to so that you can be more emotionally invested, ‘eliminate’ the actionable by deciding it is no longer worth investing in, or ‘incubate’ the actionable for a time when you may become emotionally invested in the outcome again.
7. It Lacks the Tools Needed to Complete It
Do you have the tools necessary to complete the actionable? If not, schedule a time and actions to obtain the tools you need to get it done.
8. It’s a Purchase that Never Gets Purchased
Is it a purchase that never gets purchased? If so, articulate the reason for the purchase above the next action or attach the actionable to the outcome of a project that purchase is related to. Or, is it not really a purchase but really a wishlist/someday-maybe purchase? Then put it on a someday-maybe purchase list in Reference/Checklists folder under its appropriate category and review this list (when necessary) with your weekly review.
9. It’s a Lingering Intention Cut Off from its Original Project or Due Date
Has the due date passed or the project related to the actionable already been completed, and this actionable is leftover? If so, the inertia of your original intention lingers and thus you need to re-‘activate’ the actionable by attaching the item to a new outcome or project, ‘eliminate’ the item because the outcome it was related to has already been achieved and it is no longer worth pursuing on its own; or ‘incubate’ the item by putting it on Someday-Maybe or further on in your Tickler file.
10. It Takes Too Much Time to Complete
Is the item too “thick”? Is it a 30 page item that needs to get read, a document that needs to be written, a pile of things to enter into your computer, a brainstorming session? If so, the time and energy you mentally associate with completing the task may be too much such that you constantly postpone ever starting on it. If so, break it up into shorter action-steps (e.g. Read first 10 pages, write intro paragraph, enter first five things, brainstorm 10 things) so that you more easily step toward the actionable and whittle it down until it gets completely done.