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  • Are these really Projects?

    I currently have 69 "Projects", but I'm beginning to believe that some are not really Projects in the GTD sense; rather some appear to be Categories. I am starting to feel acute GTD dissonance, and I need a cure.

    For example, in the suspect group I have:

    Entertainment
    Family
    Health and fitness
    Home improvement
    Kids
    Mentoring (because I have so much to offer the world
    Might buy...
    Personal Development
    Personal reading
    Professional development
    Travel

    etc.


    The ones that seem like legitimate Projects include:

    Intellectual Property document (ie, write an IP document related to a work project)
    Kids investment accounts (ie, set up some specfic new accounts).
    Recommendation for XYZ
    Redo wills (because I might not have long to Mentor


    Is this an issue of mixed size or granularity of the projects? Am I letting things without projects bleed into my definition of Projects? Or do some "Projects" naturally have random things drop into those categories.

    Thanks, David.

  • #2
    Are these really projects?

    By GTD definition as project has more than one step and has a desired outcome. Give each project a little key word for a title and write out what the end point would be (not what you will, could, wish, etc). For example: Creating and updating project list is a project when you first start out. So, yur first project might actually be "Project List: I have a categorized list of active and someday maybe projects for the areas of focus and responsubility in my life". Or "Lamp: there is a good reading lamp on my desk". Or "Re-wire":the basement is rewired by an electrician". A project can be two steps or a huge number. Projects might conveniently be categorized in whatever way appeals to you, but I can tell you that simply perosnal and work will not be enough. Palm users can do the project list in Memo or in ToDo, either one allows for 15. I stupidly put my projects in ToDo. Memo alphabatizes and it is much easier to find things. ToDo will sort by date an priority.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Are these really Projects?

      Originally posted by dsmccormick
      I currently have 69 "Projects", but I'm beginning to believe that some are not really Projects in the GTD sense; rather some appear to be Categories.
      David - looks like what you've got there is an "Areas of Focus" list. How about making a list or memo called "Areas of Focus" containing these items? You can review this list as necessary to generate new actions.

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with the other responses - what dictates a project is a specific, measurable outcome. You have that with the final four on your list - it's possible to know when you've completed each of those items.

        The others do seem more like Areas of Focus. It's certainly possible that within each you'll have projects. For example:

        Visit Hawaii (Travel)
        Lose 15 pounds (Health and fitness)
        Replace kitchen floor (Home improvement)

        Try asking yourself for each item on your project list, how will I know when this is completed? If you can't answer the question, it's probably not a project.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Are these really Projects?

          Originally posted by JonathanAquino
          Originally posted by dsmccormick
          I currently have 69 "Projects", but I'm beginning to believe that some are not really Projects in the GTD sense; rather some appear to be Categories.
          David - looks like what you've got there is an "Areas of Focus" list. How about making a list or memo called "Areas of Focus" containing these items? You can review this list as necessary to generate new actions.
          I get it. I think you (and the next poster) are absolutely right. I was mixing things that are legit projects and Roles (or Areas of Responsiblity). I have started culling the ones for which there are not obvious measurable final outcome. I am going to try to write in each Project what the outcome will be upon completion.

          Thanks Jonathan and Ko. That helped a lot.

          Cheers, David.

          Comment

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