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How to deal with "mini-projects"

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  • How to deal with "mini-projects"

    Hi,

    I'm wandering how you guys deal with "mini-projects". Things that
    have, let say, 2-4 next actions but have to be finished in less
    then a week.

    An example: it's Monday and you have done the weekly review
    already. Your boss come in and ask you to do something like
    the "mini-project" I described (a report or something).

    These "mini-projects" will be out of the scope of the weekly
    review because by the time of the next weekly review the
    mini-project was supposed to be completed already.

    So, how do you keep track of these kind of projects?

    The only thing I can think of right now is to find the next
    actions and put then in my calendar.

    Best Regards,

    Pedro Kröger

  • #2
    I either:

    1) put an arrow by the current next action to indicate that I need to pull the next NA up and get it on the list immediately upon completion

    or

    2) Put the NAs as a set on my action list

    For a while I treated every NA like this: as soon as it was done I pulled the next one forward, not necessarily intending to do it at that time. It was generally obvious to me (I like that GTD uses my obvious internal knowledge of my projects) when NAs were of the kind you describe.

    Comment


    • #3
      Projects come and go all the time...

      Projects come and go all the time, and what you might do with them depends on the complexity of the project. Like fncll above, I usually just write the next action for my mini-projects when I check off what I've done. I have a big project I've been working on for a couple of months which is really repetitive, so the process is really well defined in my head.

      For other (larger) active projects, I often keep folders at the front of my reference system for support materials. When an action is checked off for one of those projects, I can go to the folder at some point to get a next action. This method may work well enough for me because I do a sort of daily review to make sure I have actions defined for all my current projects before tackling the day.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think that the Weekly Review is sometimes misunderstood. You can and should review your lists as often as necessary (especially @context lists) - for example daily. But you MUST perform Weekly Reviews to maintain system reliability (these reviews must include Someday/Maybe and other, higher-level lists).

        Do not treat Weekly Review as an encouragement to browse your lists once per week only!

        TesTeq

        Comment


        • #5
          Shorter than 1-week projects

          Part of my job constitutes a repetitive process that has a 7 day SLA and we usually complete within 4-5 days (we create computer server recommendations for our software customers). I've managed this using GTD projects with a special designation. Each project is named "Sizing - Customer Name". These projects next action lists get reviewed daily.

          My longer term projects get reviewed once a week during the weekly review.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by fncll
            I either:
            1) put an arrow by the current next action to indicate that I need to pull the next NA up and get it on the list immediately upon completion
            I think this is a very good idea. It makes the need for other lists unnecessary.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TesTeq
              I think that the Weekly Review is sometimes misunderstood. You can and should review your lists as often as necessary (especially @context lists) - for example daily. But you MUST perform Weekly Reviews to maintain system reliability (these reviews must include Someday/Maybe and other, higher-level lists).
              I agree with you. I think I haven't made myself clear. I was asking how to deal with projects that have a shorter life span than a week. If I do the weekly review every sunday and some new project come out on tuesday due to next friday, you'll have to make all it's next actions before the next sunday (the day you do the WR).

              Comment


              • #8
                These miniprojects are certainly not in the Someday/Maybe category - you know when they have to be done. So they are active and should be reviewed on a daily basis.
                TesTeq

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TesTeq
                  These miniprojects are certainly not in the Someday/Maybe category - you know when they have to be done. So they are active and should be reviewed on a daily basis.
                  TesTeq
                  You review your project list daily?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm reviewing my Next Action lists (all contexts) daily. Such miniproject must be active and must have Next Action (at least in WaitingFor context).
                    TesTeq

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I get quite a few of these as well. I go ahead and add these to my project list so that my inventory of commitments stays real and up to date. I spend about 15 minutes a day (30 during busy times) doing mini-reviews, so I know the next actions won't fall between the cracks before my next weekly review.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Mini Projects

                        In the book GTD I noticed a brief section on Checklists, which I understand to be a "fuzzy" category. I use them for almost anything in the GTD system. For a mini project, I might make a separate Project list for this Mini Project (similar to the way one might make a separate Next Action list as an "agenda" for a meeting or a person you'll see, or a NA list of NAs you'll do when there's a phone available, or a computer, etc.) This one would be for when I'm working on the Mini Project, and would have sub-items showing what I need to do to reach the goal. I'd put as many as needed onto a NA list, and review this Projects List as often as needed. If the project is also a recurrent one, that hibernates for a long time, I'd move it to Someday/Maybe, perhaps in a Recurrent section; if it had Project Support material, I'd move those to General Reference filing; all this is simple, a small price for keeping the currently "active" things separate and unclouded by nonactionable stuff.

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