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Projects with no end

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  • Projects with no end

    How are people handling projects with no predefined end point, like exercising? I want to address it as a regular part of my schedule, but I have no goal so to speak, other than doing it.

    Thanks,
    Charlie

  • #2
    I have a project called fitness. I have a rotating 6 day routine. Each day's targeted workout is a next action; ie, Back/Shoulders/30 min stairs. I use Life Balance so I set each routine up as 'by date book'. So, I end up with a repeating calendar item (I do want it 'hardlandscaped') and a To Do list item. I combine the day's lifting and aerobic as 1 item so as not to clutter up the calendar.

    Just my way, hope it helps.

    Comment


    • #3
      Personally, I could never undergo an exercise regimen without at least a few hazy goals... in fact the more defined the goals (I think) the more motivated one would become to intensify each workout.

      In addition to the suggestion above, you could consider establishing somewhat arbitrary Review sessions (12 week intervals seems common in the fitness world) in which such concrete, definitive points as weight, bodyfat, physical measurements, maximum lifting weight, cardiovascular fitness (resting heart rate, bp. etc.) are charted and contemplated.

      If the above points aren't of interest, you could take a series of photos of yourself every 12 weeks and compare those....

      Hope this helps,

      Dave

      Comment


      • #4
        Dave, I couldn't agree more.
        One of the things DA suggests in the book is that for ANY project, you need to establish what "done" looks like, or define an acceptance criteria.

        This can apply to working out the same as it can to a corporate merger.

        I like your ideas for fitness criteria like bodyfat, measurements etc. - those could certainly serve as different "phases" to the "Fitness" project, ie "In twelve weeks I want my bodyfat to be down to 22%". Once you get there, it becomes "In eight weeks I want it down to 17%", and so on. Or "In twelve weeks I want to be able to bench 300 pounds."

        Of course, if I can throw in $0.02 about the whole exercise thing, I'd be hesitant to define WEIGHT as an acceptance criteria. After all, if I just stop eating and jump on the treadmill for 16 hours a day, I'll get to my weight goal in no time - I'll be incredibly unhealthy, but I'll weigh whatever arbitrary amount I've decided is "good".
        The diet & fitness world is finally coming around and remembering to tell people that what you WEIGH is significantly less important than things like your body fat percentage. After all, two people can weigh 180 lbs, yet be in completely different stages of health, depending on how much fat is on their body.

        Sorry for getting off-topic. This is a subject I'm pretty passionate about, mostly from the perspective of all the MIS-information that's out there.

        Regards,
        Neil

        Comment


        • #5
          But what if you do not have a goal for improvement? What if you are only trying to maintain your current state of health? You cannot picture "done" because you are never "done".

          This is similar to housekeeping routines. Yes, you may have some projects (clean out the hall closet, organize tools on pegboard, etc.) but most of them are maintenance - vacuum the carpet, wash the dishes, clean the mirrors, sweep the floor, change the kitty litter, etc. I have found that the best way to handle these chores is not to treat them as part of a project. Set a repeating routine or whatever kind of reminder you need to get it done, but you are not really moving a project forward.

          Pam

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree and disagree at the same time.

            Not to belabor the point, but there is a definitive "end point" to each of the household chores you mentioned, even though they have to get to "done" again sometime down the road, whether its two days or two weeks later.

            For example - there's a "done" point to washing the dishes. You know when you're done changing the kitty litter (that's usually when my cat decides to go back in - so it's truly "clean" for about 15 seconds...), because you've established a criteria for what "done" looks like.

            If there IS no goal to your workouts, you could simply maintain them as a calendar item - for many people, I would think health maintenance would be something important enough to make it part of the hard landscape.

            For example - I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to my finances and the finances of my new company. So "MSMoney" and "Quickbooks" are hard-coded into my calendar every day, so that daily I make sure to review them. They appear at the top of my Outlook Calendar as "All-Day Events", so that I make sure I get to it *sometime* each day. For a workout, you could schedule an appointment with yourself for your workouts, the same way you do for your Weekly Review.

            Additionally, you could say that maintaining your current state of health STILL sets a goal - so that when you check things like body fat, resting heart rate, etc, they're no WORSE when you schedule your "fitness review" sessions. Maintaining the status quo still implies a measurable goal.

            Regards,
            Neil

            Comment


            • #7
              I wanted to get in the habit of drinking 8 glasses of water daily and walking 2 miles per day. I put those two items on my projects list and did not put any "next action." When I get to the weekly review and see those two items on the projects list, it makes me pause for a second and evaluate where I stand on those 2 habits. If I have fallen "off the wagon," seeing those items on the projects list is usally enough to get me back on track.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by neilhedley
                I agree and disagree at the same time.

                Not to belabor the point, but there is a definitive "end point" to each of the household chores you mentioned, even though they have to get to "done" again sometime down the road, whether its two days or two weeks later.

                For example - there's a "done" point to washing the dishes. You know when you're done changing the kitty litter (that's usually when my cat decides to go back in - so it's truly "clean" for about 15 seconds...), because you've established a criteria for what "done" looks like.
                Sorry, I guess I was not clear. Yes, the chores have an end point, but each chore is a next action, not a project. The project would be something amorphus like "maintain clean house" and it would not have an end point. IMHO if a "project" does not have an end goal, it is not a project. Perhaps it is a role or a routine, but it is not a project.

                But we all agree that whether it is part of a project, with a specific goal, or whether it is simply maintenance with no end goal in mind, there needs to be some sort of reminder on your calendar or task list!

                Pam

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'd have thought that a clean, fresh house smelling faintly of pot-pourri and with less than an average 6" of rubbish on all the horizontal surfaces of the children's rooms is a very clear goal. Even though it needs to be achieved afresh every couple of hours.

                  The trick is to make sure that the whole family shares this vision, but perhaps I digress!

                  Not sure whether the best GTD approach is a checklist, a permanent project plan or a repeating set of context based actions, though.

                  Regards


                  FBA

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Routine things seem to work well on a checklist. There is a lot of helpful information about dealing with routine things (specifically housework) at flylady.net .

                    For things like an exercise program, I think you need to schedule some hard landscape to get them done. I walk in the morning before work - getting up before 5 am to get my walk in. While I don't put this on my calendar, I could mark off from 5-6 am for exercise. Before I started walking I kept wanting to do it, but thinking that I didn't have time. Once I sat down and figured out that early morning was the only way I was going to fit it into my schedule at a time when I had energy to do it, it became an appointment

                    If you think about when you are able to make a place for exercising in your schedule, you could make an appointment with yourself to do it and enter it into your calendar. Until you've figured out when you really can do it and committed yourself to doing it, it's still a someday/maybe.

                    Comment

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