33. Where is Your List?

This page is part of the Holacracy Habits series.

Last time we introduced a new habit, list next actions, not just projects. 

Remember a next action is the very next physical step necessary to move a project forward. And while you want a list of projects, you'll also need to list your next actions.

It’s hard to take quick action on something your brain needs time to process. So, having a list of next actions like “look up dentist phone number and add to phone contacts” makes it easier to take action than just listing “call dentist”.

But where to list these next actions? Anything will work. You may already have a list in one of these:

• Physical systems like a notebook or planner

• Software programs like Evernote or OmniFocus

• Electronic documents like a simple text document or spreadsheet

Or you can track them in GlassFrog by using “Actions” in your sidebar. For some, this list may only have twenty to thirty items. So, one list labeled “Next Actions” is fine. However, many people will have fifty to over a hundred. For longer lists, it's better to subdivide them into categories like, “Calls,” “Home,” or even people's names like “John” for items you need to discuss next time you and John have coffee.

Also, realize that this list isn't like the to-do list, because we aren't intending to get all of these done in a certain time frame (this week, today, etc.). It's just good to know all of your commitments, instead of having them pop into your brain over and over at the wrong times. Plus, when you're ready to take action, you'll be more easily able to direct your focus and energy, because your past self was looking out for you.

But first things first. You need an actual physical list. Somewhere. The only bad place to keep a list is in your own head. And if you're still not convinced of the power of this habit, then just try it once. Take any outcome/project you currently have on your plate, especially one you haven't made much progress on and ask yourself, “What is the very next physical action necessary to move this project forward?”