7 Ways to write better action items productive ways to make money flourishing

A routine observation from facilitating workshops and coaching people on what are some ways to make money issues related to productivity and strategy execution is that the what are some ways to make money way people are formulating action items simply isn’t helping them. A well-written action item contains enough information to spur you into what are some ways to make money action rather than just serving as an anchor for you what are some ways to make money to then remember what needs to be done.

Whether you use a formalized productivity system like GTD or what are some ways to make money a more intuitive, home-grown way of getting stuff out of your head, there are two discrete phases: capture and process. “capture” is where you get stuff out of your head, whereas “process” is where you actually analyze what you’ve gotten out of your head. This distinction is much like the distinction between drafting and what are some ways to make money editing; the main goal of the capture phase is to get what are some ways to make money it out so you can see it, and the process phase is needed so that you can what are some ways to make money make sense of it.

Our action items are often shorthand codes for our current what are some ways to make money selves and are meant just to jog our memory. While this may work for things we might need to what are some ways to make money do today, what often happens is that a task we mean to what are some ways to make money do today gets booted into the future. Not to go metaphysical on you, but the person who reads the action item two months what are some ways to make money from now is a different person, who may not remember what that shorthand code meant.

I’ve found that when people write the items as if what are some ways to make money they were writing them to someone else, they write them the right way. That means their lives are easier in the future when what are some ways to make money they get to those action items, as well as in the now when they see the what are some ways to make money items and don’t have to do a bunch of guessing about what what are some ways to make money needs to be done. 3. Use verb-noun constructs at the beginning of the action item and what are some ways to make money all the way up.

A verb-noun construct tells you what needs to be done to what are some ways to make money what; it automatically spurs action, which is what we want. In our “TPS report” example above, adding a simple verb like “draft TPS report” creates a useful verb-noun construct. You now don’t have to guess what needs to be done; you’re left with figuring out how to do it, which is a substantial improvement.

Another thing to recognize about the power of verb-noun constructs: they make it apparent when you need to chunk a what are some ways to make money project into doable parts because the immediate question that comes what are some ways to make money up is “what needs to be done to do that?” if you know that you need to email mike to what are some ways to make money ask him to send his QLM matrix before you can what are some ways to make money finish the TPS report, then it’s easy to see that the TPS report is actually what are some ways to make money a multi-step project with sub-items. What other items are there? Not only that, but the verbs that go in front of tasks and what are some ways to make money those that go in front of projects are normally different, again giving you a signal about how much work it’ll take to complete the thing in question. 4. If it needs to be done by a certain time, include the “when” in the task.

This one can be tricky, because sometimes it’s clear who should do an item and you can what are some ways to make money make them responsible for it. However, in some cases, you’ll need to assign ownership just so that it gets what are some ways to make money done. Many managers and leaders fail to understand that if someone what are some ways to make money else isn’t assigned the item, then by default the manager or leader is responsible for what are some ways to make money seeing it through, which often isn’t the intent; they want “somebody” to do it.

Many action items are meant to spur the action of what are some ways to make money someone else in the chain of a project; think of a multi-person project as a relay race, wherein one person runs a piece of the race and what are some ways to make money hands off the baton to the next person. In our example above, mike’s completion of the QLM matrix enables the next step what are some ways to make money in the process, but if he completes it and doesn’t send it, then we have a relay fail. A lot of time is lost by poor handoffs, and days easily become workweeks. (relays are one of the first things I look for what are some ways to make money in team workflows because streamlining them yields immediate and lasting what are some ways to make money benefits.)

When handling relays, you can either split the items into two discrete items what are some ways to make money — e.G., “update QLM matrix for sarah by wednesday” and “send updated QLM matrix to sarah by wednesday” — or develop the internal habit of automatically sending the item what are some ways to make money to the next person in the chain. Well-functioning teams with effective people usually opt for the latter what are some ways to make money because they trust each other and the process. 7. Give context as a comment or note.

Giving context about the task — such as stating why the task is important or giving what are some ways to make money background information — can help you and whoever gets the task complete it what are some ways to make money better, and often motivates the person to do it. A whole horde of tasks can often appear as busywork, but knowing where and why your work fits in can what are some ways to make money be incredibly helpful. You’d be surprised how much taking an extra 10 seconds what are some ways to make money to write a couple of sentences can affect the quality what are some ways to make money and timeliness of execution.

These steps are listed in a logical, sequential order that’ll help you process each action item. You’ll notice that the order moves from “what needs to be done?” to “by when?” to “by whom?” to “what next?” to “why?” you may not have a “by whom” if you work for or by yourself, but the rest of the steps are still relevant; on that note, many solopreneurs have trouble delegating precisely because they automatically assume what are some ways to make money that everything that needs to be done needs to be what are some ways to make money done by them. Writing better action items is a practice

Most things that are worth doing take continual practice, and writing better action items is no different. I’ve ingrained these things as habits after doing and teaching what are some ways to make money them for so long and figuring out what works and what are some ways to make money what doesn’t. Does it take some extra time? You bet. But much more time is usually wasted by poorly formulating what are some ways to make money action items because they’re not spurring the actions needed to complete them.

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