THE BOOK • 31-01-2014



As we've seen, stuff is collected, then eventually processed, giving birth to required actions that are waiting for your execution resources (time, energy, context, ...). At any moment in time, there is always a lot of stuff pending. That's not bad itself, though if it's not minimally organized, it may bring about a feeling of overwhelming, confusion, or even some anxiety and stress. Whether you have urgent, mandatory needs, or simply nice ideas and opportunities to be chased someday, you'll want to park them somewhere. Action Repository is that place.
If you were to talk with Mr.Action Repository, this could well be the kind of thing you would say: "Hey, Mr. Action Repository, what do you have there for me? Is there any urgent stuff? How about places to go this weekend? And dreams? Do you have my dreams listed so I can check how am I going on those? Today I'm going to meet my boss, what's in there that I should take into account to maximize the opportunity of talking to him? Thanks!"
Action Repository is some sort of system that enables you to feed, keep and explore a big structured collection of items that represent possible things to do. Some of these things will make your world better if you do them (going forward with that trip to Brazil), some will make your world worse if you don't do them (submitting IRS until the 31st March).
Action-oriented: mandatory?
Some more fundamentalist experts might say that only clear concrete defined actions should go into the Action Repository. I disagree. If what you are listing is something that you are not yet ready to move forward, there is really no need for you to make it action-oriented and assign it a verb. Of course you know that while you don't make it action-oriented, the chances your Robot will want to make some progress on them are smaller, but that said, it's ok to keep even the most vain idea on the list.
Action Repository vs Collectors
Action Repository's and Collectors' purposes are different, and so is the meaning of the items each holds. A Collectors purpose is essentially Focus concerned, while an Action Repository gives you a map of opportunities. While a Collector will hold temporarily items that required your decision about their destination (is it something you must do tomorrow, or a tip of a new restaurant you've just heard about?), an Action Repository will hold everything that might eventually have added value - in our logistics analogy, it's the big platform where everything that might get transported is.
A Collector has to do with pace and rhythm - "answer the door for me, I can't right now", an Action Repository has to do with structure, navigation and selection - "show me the map, I want to choose what next". A Collector must be emptied frequently, an Action Repository is intended to hold items. A Collector is typically fed and processed FIFO (first in first out), the Action Repository must enable categorization, grouping, and priority classification.
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