My @Office list had started to become an inbox and not a next action list. It happens really slowly so you don’t notice at first, but suddenly you find it more difficult to act on those actions; you read down the list jumping those that sound “difficult”. Using action words at the beginning of each point is so vital; I had things like “Meeting with X” and “Minutes of X meeting” on my list – what did that mean?! Arrange a meeting? Look at notes from a meeting? Consider the need for a meeting?
The feeling of relief gained from cleaning up my lists and really drilling to the next action has made them something I can work with again. And a real plus point: my list has shrunk by a third! There was a lot of stuff that actually should have been a project, or a Someday/Maybe, or were actually two minute actions (if only I had defined them properly in the first place). An hour later and my list is truly manageable and actionable again!