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Projects not Active and not SDMB?

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  • Projects not Active and not SDMB?

    Please give me ideas of what do about projects that fall in between Active and SDMB. Maybe I just am not thinking clearly about Projects.

    Assuming,

    Active Projects= projects I intend to complete next actions on this week.

    And,

    SMDB= Projects I might at some point be interested in defining or otherwise working on.


    How do I designate and keep alive projects that are not either one of these two kinds? That is, projects I need or want to do, but not this week, unless by chance I run into a resource (idea, thing, person) that might apply.

    Also, projects I want to work on as soon as I am able (they are not being actioned yet) but if I make committments in response to life's demands (as they come come along), then I won't leave room for these projects. In other words, if I don't see them in an really obvious way, I will forget about them and make committments as I go along and then before I know it a week has gone by and another week, and I am not taking actions on these. In the conventional "To Do List", that fact that these were on the list, even although no work as being done on them, served as a beacon warning me not to encumber the calendar with competing demands and reminding that that they had been waiting. And, I would then sketch into my calendar possible times and know not to make appointments or committments.

    How do I make note of projects that I want to remember to work on within a certain time period, and that I need to allow time for within that time period, but not on a specific date or time?

  • #2
    If you want to move a project forward this week, it is an active project and should have an active next action. Either you are committed to it or you are not.

    For everything else, it comes down to effective use of a tickler file and/or your Weekly Review. These tools remind you of what's out there beyond your currently active projects, so that you can rearrange your commitments as desired.

    Katherine

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jamie Elis View Post
      How do I designate and keep alive projects that are not either one of these two kinds? That is, projects I need or want to do, but not this week, unless by chance I run into a resource (idea, thing, person) that might apply.
      Yeah, I'm wondering about this too at the moment. My current plan is to make these kind of things SDMB but make sure I review the SDMB list weekly. That way I train my brain to keep an eye out for the opportunities and resources that I need to move some of these things on. I don't know if this is how it's supposed to work.

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      • #4
        At the same place myself...

        When you look at your NA list and you have to think about it because several NA's are in fact projects, you get slowed down, maybe even feel less like checking your list.

        I think the same holds true for an NA list with true next actions which you know you don't want to do this week... You don't feel like it or the project is on hold for a week -- whatever.

        I work with OneNote 2007 and rather move that project to my On Hold notebook. That way it stays out of my tag/flag search which is notebook-wide: had I moved it to the Someday/Maybe in my main notebook the NA's would still show up.

        Of course the weekly review is crucial then to not lose track of the incubated projects.

        So, why not on the Someday/Maybe (and I have toyed with the idea and have discussed it elsewhere) ?

        Well, I like hard, clean edges. These open, active projects are not to be done "someday... maybe... dunno, not sure...". They are to be incubated for X weeks/days. Dot.

        It fits perfectly within my areas of responsibility (or areas of focus) setup this way also. I have a Professional section, a People section, etc. Why not an On Hold? (although, as I pointed out, in my case it has to be an On Hold notebook within OneNote).

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        • #5
          I agree that this is what your calendar and tickler are for.

          Jamie, can you give us some examples? We may be able to give more specific advice if we have more specific examples.

          Comment


          • #6
            I always have more NAs on my lists than I can complete in one week, but I am someone who likes options meaning that I would rather decide in the heat of the moment what is most important to me even if that means making no progress on a given project or carrying over a NA to the next week. So that's where those things fall for me. They are things I am definitely committed to doing, but may or may not get to this week.

            It's kind of like the Covey Urgent & Important vs Important but not Urgent theory. I keep as little in the first category as I can so that I can spend my time in the latter category. I hate having to work "under the gun" so to say. Things that I CAN do right now but don't necessarily NEED to do this week are NAs, not someday/maybe's for me.

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            • #7
              David Allen gave clear edges at last seminar I attended

              At the roadmap seminar I attended last spring, David Allen defined a project or subproject as anything you're committed to completing within the next year. Everything else goes on Someday/Maybe. That's why project lists can be so extensive. Only keeping projects with deadlines a week out on your projects list would really limit the value of the system.
              Pack Matthews

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              • #8
                Originally posted by packmatthews View Post
                At the roadmap seminar I attended last spring, David Allen defined a project or subproject as anything you're committed to completing within the next year. Everything else goes on Someday/Maybe. That's why project lists can be so extensive. Only keeping projects with deadlines a week out on your projects list would really limit the value of the system.
                Of course. Many people have projects requiring far more than a week of lead time. Which is probably why no one actually suggested any such thing.

                I do advocate moving all projects and NAs that you *don't intend to move forward* in the next week off of your active list. I've found that a single context NA list with more than 10 or 15 items is unworkable, so I use the Weekly Review to prioritize and keep my lists under control. YMMV.

                Katherine

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                • #9
                  I worry about this distinction between "active" projects and "inactive" projects (the latter being distinct from Someday/Maybe projects). I have one Projects list, and put everything on that list that I intend to accomplish, or make significant progress on, in the next year. Everything else goes on Someday/Maybe. I look at both lists every week as part of my Weekly Review, though I don't give a whole lot of time to the Someday/Maybe list -- just a quick scan to see if there's something there I need to move to my Projects list.

                  I have too many projects that I need to keep on my radar screen -- I need to keep thinking about next actions on all my projects, and often the next action on a project doesn't need to be acted on this week, but just whenever I'm in the right context, with the right amount of energy, with the right amount of time, etc. If I put some of my projects on an "inactive projects" list, then (a) I might not be thinking of next actions I could be doing during my weekly review, and (b) at the time I'm looking at my next actions lists by context, I might be in the right place, at the right time, etc. to do anything on my more limited "active projects" next action lists, but if I had next actions on some of those "inactive projects" lists, I could move one of those projects along. Some times I can move one of those longer term projects along, a bit at a time, that way.

                  Randy

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                  • #10
                    For projects such as this I created a second projects category called "Projects to Review for Activation at WR" (yes it's a long title but it helps me to remember to review it each week.) I drag and drop projects during the weekly review that I have decided to activate or that require activation that week. Urgent projects don't get put on this list (only ones that I can't get to that week but still don't want to let slip away.)

                    I don't put projects in a tickler file or on a calendar because I want to be able to scan them all when sitting down at the WR.

                    I also don't put them in Someday/Maybe because they are projects that I absolutely do want to get to sooner than later but I guess you could think of this as a subcategory within S/M.

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