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  • How do you make distinction between active and SM projects?

    How do you make distinction between projects on the active projects list and someday-maybe list? In fact any, even really fantastic project, could be put on the active list. For example, if you want a yacht, there're a few major projects leading to that: buy yacht - get money from good investment project - find good investment project - earn money - do that and that. And the last could be put on the active actions list already now. Do we really need a SM list then?

    Regards,

    Eugene.

  • #2
    I think you could call a project active if you are willing to work on every step needed towards finishing the project. That means that if there are some steps or subprojects necessary to finish the project, but you aren't willing to do/complete these, the whole project becomes someday/maybe.

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    • #3
      Am I likely to make progress on this project in the next seven days?

      If so, it's active.
      If not, it's someday/maybe.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Borisoff View Post
        For example, if you want a yacht, there're a few major projects leading to that: buy yacht - get money from good investment project - find good investment project - earn money - do that and that.
        This sounds to me like a distinction between outcomes sought at different altitudes, or projects v. sub-projects rather than active v. someday/maybe.

        After all, you could just have one project: live a good life, and of course it would be active and encompass everything. But it sounds to me like most people will always have projects related to "earn money" on their lists, and it's not helpful for getting those things done to worry about whether that money is for the rent or the future yacht. Or maybe the yacht example is throwing me. What exactly is the problem?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Brent View Post
          Am I likely to make progress on this project in the next seven days?

          If so, it's active.
          If not, it's someday/maybe.
          How do you choose if you want to do it next seven days or not if that's just a small Next Action that needs to be done to move it a lil further? Short step - it's on the way. Why to postpone?

          E.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Borisoff View Post
            How do you choose if you want to do it next seven days or not if that's just a small Next Action that needs to be done to move it a lil further? Short step - it's on the way. Why to postpone?

            E.
            Time available in the next 7 days! Even a small step takes time that may or may not be available. Can you complete all NA's on your list this week? If not, it's too large and some items should be moved to Someday/Maybe.

            Give it a try. The results are amazing.
            Pamela

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            • #7
              Originally posted by plapointe View Post
              Time available in the next 7 days! Even a small step takes time that may or may not be available. Can you complete all NA's on your list this week? If not, it's too large and some items should be moved to Someday/Maybe.

              Give it a try. The results are amazing.
              Pamela
              I think what Eugene is trying to say is that the immediate NA takes only a little time and could be done easily. But the succeeding NAs would take a longer time and wouldn't possibly be finished the next 7 days. Would you put that project on the active list, do the first NA and then move it again to S/M? Or would you rather put the project immediately on S/M and choose not to do the first easy NA?
              Last edited by GTDer88; 01-21-2007, 09:13 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by GTDer88 View Post
                I think what Eugene is trying to say is that the immediate NA takes only a little time and could be done easily. But the succeeding NAs would take a longer time and wouldn't possibly be finished the next 7 days. Would you put that project on the active list, do the first NA and then move it again to S/M? Or would you rather put the project immediately on S/M and choose not to do the first easy NA?
                It depends. What else do I need to do in the following week? How important is the S/M project compared to everything else I need to do? How easy is the "easy" NA? As I'm sure we all know, it's very easy for a "quick" phone call or Internet search to end up consuming an entire afternoon.

                In my own system, I've found that S/M projects are a wonderful source of distraction/procrastination opportunities. So I try to ignore them as much as possible between Weekly Reviews. YMMV.

                Katherine

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by plapointe View Post
                  Time available in the next 7 days! Even a small step takes time that may or may not be available. Can you complete all NA's on your list this week? If not, it's too large and some items should be moved to Someday/Maybe.

                  Give it a try. The results are amazing.
                  Pamela
                  Exactly what GTDer88 said. Having in mind that NA is approximatelly 15 minutes and you have 200 projects (home&office) on the list (including SM projects) it ends up with 50 hours of work. And the week is 112 of active hours. So anyone can put all projects including SM on the list and at least touch them during the week so move forward. So why put some of them to SM? Maybe through away if you don't want to do them?

                  E.

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                  • #10
                    My experience has been much like Katherine's -- most of the stuff on my SM list is stuff that I either can't do anything with just yet ("Move to Oregon someday") or that I won't have time to move on this week ("Buy bunk beds for kid's room" being a good example from my current list.) But, if I let myself, I could spend a half day researching and thinking/daydreaming about moving to Oregon someday, or spend a half day looking at bunk beds online. Both are things I could do today, but both are things I've chosen -- at least for this week -- to push off the radar.

                    So, the questions I ask myself when moving something to/from my SM list are "is this something I want to move on this week?" and "is it urgent/important enough to commit to doing something with it this week?" If the answer to one (or both) of these questions is "no", then it goes on the SM list.

                    -- Tammy

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wordsofwonder View Post
                      But, if I let myself, I could spend a half day researching and thinking/daydreaming about moving to Oregon someday, or spend a half day looking at bunk beds online. Both are things I could do today, but both are things I've chosen -- at least for this week -- to push off the radar.

                      So, the questions I ask myself when moving something to/from my SM list are "is this something I want to move on this week?" and "is it urgent/important enough to commit to doing something with it this week?" If the answer to one (or both) of these questions is "no", then it goes on the SM list.

                      -- Tammy
                      That's good enough for me.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Good points.

                        There is no universal algorithm for this. You have to make judgment calls about what you're honestly likely to achieve over the next week.

                        It might help to log completed Actions and Projects each week, so you can calculate your actual speed. I was shocked to discover I only complete an average of four actions and less than one project a day.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Brent View Post

                          I was shocked to discover I only complete an average of four actions and less than one project a day.
                          Are you actions large and your projects small?
                          If I were to knock out a project every other day, I would be ecstatic. But for most of my projects, an average of eight actions wouldn't come close to completing them.

                          If your actions are taking 2 hours of work to complete, then four actions a day is fine, assuming we're only talking about work actions. If your actions are much smaller and interspersed with chaff, then there's an opportunity to Get more Things Done (GmTD).

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                          • #14
                            My questions - "should this stay, or should this go now?"

                            So, the questions I ask myself when moving something to/from my SM list are "is this something I want to move on this week?" and "is it urgent/important enough to commit to doing something with it this week?" If the answer to one (or both) of these questions is "no", then it goes on the SM list.
                            I have very similar questions, but first the background...

                            When I was first "coached" in methodology like this, I had an inventory of 180 projects. Yup, 180 "things" that I'd said I was going to do (and, I was a high school teacher!). Within a year, the someday/maybe list grew in to the hundreds.

                            To this day, I still have outstanding projects, areas of focus, and someday/maybes... and weekly I ask myself:

                            "IS there an action I could take this week to get any more experience in this area?"
                            "IS this something I'm still even interested in?"
                            "HAVE I reviewed this enough times in my weekly review to now let it go?"

                            I'm one of those guys who can open the newspaper and find 4 more people I'd like to write a letter to. So, having a way to manage the "have to," "could do," and "might do" lists is crucial to my health, and quality of life balance.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Borisoff View Post
                              Having in mind that NA is approximatelly 15 minutes and you have 200 projects (home&office) on the list (including SM projects) it ends up with 50 hours of work. And the week is 112 of active hours. So anyone can put all projects including SM on the list and at least touch them during the week so move forward. So why put some of them to SM?
                              Because you want to do more than just the 50 hours of immediate next actions. The other 62 hours of work are there to accomplish more actions on your active projects. It's not that you want to do just one action per project per week.


                              A good post I found helpfull dealing with this whole subject:
                              http://www.davidco.com/forum/showpos...22&postcount=4

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