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  • How many projects should I be working on?

    Other any guidelines that I could use to let me know how many projects I should be working on at one time.

    Thank you

    Dan

  • #2
    what is "working on a project"?

    depends on how you define "working on a project"?

    I have around 50 active projects, ... if I make a bunch of phone calls, they might relate to 5 different projects. Am I then "working on 5 projects"? You could state it that way. I don't have a problem with that. I'm a consultant, and I have a multitude of projects going on, at different client sites. But then again, I also know someone that gets stressed as soon as more than 2 different projects land on his desk and he needs to work on them both. He can really only work in a serial type of way. Starting one project, finishing it, and then move to the next.

    Myriam

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Dan Roberts View Post
      Other any guidelines that I could use to let me know how many projects I should be working on at one time.
      Hi, Dan!

      Well, what guidelines are you already using?

      You can have a hundred projects on your Projects List but that doesn't mean you have to put a next action for each one on your Next Action List if you don't want to work on them just yet, right?

      One of the biggest benefits of the Weekly Review, for me, is being able to reevaluate my projects and choose which ones I want to advance in the coming week.

      So I have about 300 projects, but most of them are on my Someday/Maybe lists. As I review, I might pull a handful onto my active Project List, and likewise I might move some active projects off to Someday/Maybe.

      It's a fluid process, and you'll develop your own guidelines along the way, I'll bet.

      Happy project-ing!

      Dena

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      • #4
        Trick Question

        Originally posted by Dan Roberts View Post
        Other any guidelines that I could use to let me know how many projects I should be working on at one time.
        Trick question. No matter how many projects I have active in any given time I am still only ever working on one at a time. I do a next action related to single project and then do another one. So one project at a time but serially.

        What I think you are really asking is how many active projects is reasonable.

        From discussions here I can tell you I am on the upper end of most folks. Right now as of tonight I have 171 current active projects who have next actions in my lists. I have a further 68 projects waiting for a start date to arrive before they become active. My someday maybe list of projects is close to 600.

        I keep active any projects that I think I can possibly work on during this season which is abut 3 months. I'm far more comfortable with a large set of possible actions from which to choose.

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        • #5
          How about these for guidelines:

          If you feel overwhelmed, reduce the number of active projects. (Move some to someday/maybe).

          If you feel that you have spare time that's not being used advantageously, increase the number of active projects.

          Have the number of projects you feel most comfortable with. This will vary from person to person. It's what works for you.

          Comment


          • #6
            No multitasking, please!

            Originally posted by Dan Roberts View Post
            Other any guidelines that I could use to let me know how many projects I should be working on at one time.
            Easy! One at a time. No multitasking, please!

            At any given second of your life you are working on one project only - everything else is safely parked in your trusted GTD system. David Allen often refers to a kung-fu street fighting - deal with one enemy at a time!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
              Easy! One at a time. No multitasking, please!

              At any given second of your life you are working on one project only - everything else is safely parked in your trusted GTD system. David Allen often refers to a kung-fu street fighting - deal with one enemy at a time!
              Not entirely true- it's possible to do a next action which is part of two or more projects. For example I might make mushroom soup (next action) because I want to use up some leftover mushrooms in the fridge (project 1) and try out a new recipe for mushroom soup (project 2).

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              • #8
                Originally posted by treelike View Post
                Not entirely true- it's possible to do a next action which is part of two or more projects. For example I might make mushroom soup (next action) because I want to use up some leftover mushrooms in the fridge (project 1) and try out a new recipe for mushroom soup (project 2).
                Right. Another example: often my actions for the purpose of exercise also involve another purpose:
                having fun, transportation, connecting with other people etc.

                Comment


                • #9
                  One clear purpose.

                  Originally posted by treelike View Post
                  Not entirely true- it's possible to do a next action which is part of two or more projects. For example I might make mushroom soup (next action) because I want to use up some leftover mushrooms in the fridge (project 1) and try out a new recipe for mushroom soup (project 2).
                  Originally posted by cwoodgold View Post
                  Right. Another example: often my actions for the purpose of exercise also involve another purpose:
                  having fun, transportation, connecting with other people etc.
                  I understand these examples but... I am not convinced that this is the proper way of thinking about Next Actions.

                  I can find even more purposes of making mushroom soup:
                  • to prepare a meal for my wife
                  • to prepare a meal for my child
                  • to prepare a meal for my second child
                  • to cultivate my vegetarianism etc.
                  For exercising I can also find more purposes:
                  • to listen to my favourite podcasts
                  • to keep my heart in good condition
                  • to keep my muscles ready for challenges
                  • to be able to defend myself in a dark alley
                  • to be prepared for a skiing season
                  • to be prepared for a windsurfing season etc.
                  I simply like to have one clear purpose - it motivates me more than many purposes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                    David Allen often refers to a kung-fu street fighting - deal with one enemy at a time!
                    And, ironically, in street fighting you want to take out the leader first. To me, that means I should be tackling the toughest action first, but I can't say I'm that disciplined!

                    Dena

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                    • #11
                      Yes, one action at a time. No multitasking.

                      Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                      Easy! One at a time. No multitasking, please!

                      At any given second of your life you are working on one project only - everything else is safely parked in your trusted GTD system. David Allen often refers to a kung-fu street fighting - deal with one enemy at a time!
                      Yes, one action at a time. No multitasking.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I should push away the BIG STONE in next actions.

                        Originally posted by artsinaction View Post
                        And, ironically, in street fighting you want to take out the leader first. To me, that means I should be tackling the toughest action first, but I can't say I'm that disciplined!

                        Dena
                        Yes, I should push away the BIG STONE in next actions.

                        Comment

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