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  • Projects - Rotation System (Burst Method)

    Greetings new to the forum and GTD,

    I am a little lost when it comes to Projects, I have read the GTD book and I still can not seem to perhaps fully grasp things as far as projects are concerned !!!

    I have implemented the GTD system utilising ACT for my Next Action list that has all of my contexts such as @Calls @Computer etc. I have Listpro where I keep a list of my Projects, lists for each individual project and also project support materials. This all syncs to a Pocket PC.

    Now I understand you can't do a Project, only the Next Action relating to that project and that's fine. But I having real difficulty getting things out of my head. Even if I decide to defer an action on a project my mind does not seem to release it. My mind only seems to have two modes, either the Project is active and I tell myself I should be doing something on it, or it is complete.

    My mind seems to be telling me I should be more or less working on all the projects at the same time, think I might have mental health issues here ) which I haven't ruled out. Like I say even with a clear next action defined, I still can't seem to properly juggle projects of which I have a lot.

    In order to combat this type of frustration I seem to be feeling, I was wondering about implementing a rotation system on the projects lists utilising a countdown timer type of method. So for example work on Project A for 30 mins, Project B, C, D etc. Then rotating back around to A.Varying the lengths of time depending on the next action etc. A sort of Burst Method I suppose you would call it. Because I think as long as I know I have actively done something on that project even if it is just 5 minutes, that project has taken one small step closer to being completed. I suppose in a way it is a sort of forced work structure, but I was wondering if it might work?

    Has anybody tried this type of method or any similar methods with projects ?

    Or am I missing something with regards to projects? I keep having this gut feeling like I am missing a big part of the jigsaw puzzle.

    I certainly seem a long way off a 'mind like water' state to say the least.

    Any comments, suggestions, clarifications, help, much appreciated and probably much needed )

    Regards

    Steve

  • #2
    A few suggestions...

    Give yourself time to get used to the system. Your brain needs to learn that it can trust things that it lets go of.

    Your "burst" method strikes me as a huge productivity hit, probably because so many of my own projects require lots of extended concentration. 30 minutes of work is barely enough time to figure out what I want to do next. However, I often have several projects that are in early planning or final wrap-up stages, and only one or two that are in the concentration-requiring middle. So, the way I would implement your method is by context: do all phone calls (for as many different projects as have @calls items), then do an hour or two of focused work on one project, then do all emails (again, for as many projects as have @emails), then do another long chunk of focused work, and so forth.

    Keep a scratch pad or other capture device handy at all times. Then, when your brain bugs you about another project you can capture the note and get back to what you were doing almost immediately. This reassures your brain that you really are paying attention, but minimizes the productivity hit.

    Hope this helps,

    Katherine

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    • #3
      I actually work that way not infrequently. I have a lot of work projects and they often only need a little push every day or so to keep them spinning.

      Seems like there is not much harm in trying it for a week and seeing if it works well for you.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the info guys but I seem to have sorted myself out last night, I sort of in a way seem to have a clearer vision just by splurging it all out in my last post if you know what I mean, getting my thoughts in writing. Got me thinking a little bit more about the principles of the system and especially projects.

        I think my problem was I wasn't really thinking in Next Action mode I was sort of still viewing the project as a whole, a list of a number of tasks. Not thinking of just the Next Action for that project. Once I went through it again last night and defined my Next Actions in a better context it seemed to somehow fit together.

        I may still implement a burst mode to just make sure I do a Next Action for a project and keep things moving. But I do actually feel a lot better today, closer to getting that Mind Like Water feeling

        I have a few more questions about Project etc, but I will create a new post.

        All the best

        Steve

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