ForumsTips & TricksStart Tasks with a verb

Start Tasks with a verb
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Vin Thomas

Posted: Jun 25, 2009
Score: 2 Reference
I have struggled in the past to make my tasks concrete. Often a task will be called something that doesn't really define the action I need to take.

Example: Proposal for City Hall

This says nothing about the action I need to take. So I have started to start all of my tasks with a verb.

Example: WRITE Proposal for City Hall, DELIVER Proposal for City Hall, BURN Proposal for City Hall, etc

Try it. It helps me a lot in really getting things done.

Posted: Jun 25, 2009
Score: 0 Reference
I do the same thing. Projects can be nouns...the desired outcome of the project. But I always try to start my tasks with a verb. I think it works great in forcing me to make a decision on the next concrete action I can take.

Posted: Jun 25, 2009
Score: 1 Reference
One of the many things I value from David Allen is that the verb/action must be visible. If I am in doubt whether I have it right I ask myself "Would an someone else looking at me know that that I am doing something?"

Make decision on trip to Texas does not work.
Write out pros/cons re: trip to Texas is better

Plan next meeting presentation does not work
Call Jerry re: determine roles each will take during next presentation is better

I guess the other thing that I have been trying to do along these lines is to make a note to myself of what the deliverable is even if I am delivering just to myself; OR how will I know that the task/subtask is completed. Picturing the desired outcome paves the way for it happening easily and clearly.

So deliverables might be:
paragraphs written in word that list pros/cons for a particular decision.
Hand written notes of phone call (or face-to-face) with Jerry as to who is doing what, in what order, and for what length of time at the next meeting/presentation.

Posted: Jun 26, 2009
Score: 0 Reference
Very good tips. I have to admit that I have not been doing this and will start today.

Thanks for making me less productive and tweaking my GTD system once more.

lol. Just kidding.
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