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  • Very scared GTDer

    I organised two days of training for my small company last week. It was fantastic, galvanised us as a home-working team and gave us lots of ideas. The trouble is, I now have pages and pages of notes, overflowing with projects and NAs. Enough development ideas to last a year, probably.

    There's a lot of excitement and possibilities in there. But I'm afraid to start processing the notes because of the heap of projects and actions I'll gain, which will feel overwhelming. I already have more to do than I can handle (who doesn't!) And I know I just need to get started, decide what's a project, what's a somedaymaybe and so on, but it's a bit daunting.

    I think I know the answer, but any words of encouragement would help.

    cheers

  • #2
    All the projects and tasks were there before you started GTD, but GTD has made you aware of them, which is scary, but I isn't it better to see the truth than to bury one's head in the sand?

    Becoming aware of all the projects on your horizon doesn't necessarily mean you've got much more work to do, as most of those projects will presumably have to put on a someday/maybe list, delegated or crossed off.

    In my job I'm aware of the projects me and my team will be working on for at least the next 12 months, but only a few of those projects are active at any one time.

    I think in identifying all your projects you've made a great start, and just need to spend a bit of time looking at the big picture and choosing what to do with each of them.

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    • #3
      If you don't process, you'll have more to do than you can possibly do, and which bits of it that you do will be random, and the rest will be hanging over your head. You'll always wonder if you're working on the most important thing, and suspecting not.

      If you do process, you'll still have more to do than you can possibly do, but you'll be able to make a conscious choice about which pieces actually get worked on, and rather than hanging over your head, the rest will be on a list that you can use to re-evaluate your choices during weekly review. You'll always know you're working on the thing that IS, to the best of your ability to determine it, the most important things, and not things chosen at random.

      The only advantage you gain by not processing is to hold on slightly longer to the shallow illusion that you can do more than it is humanly possible to do.

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      • #4
        I => we

        Originally posted by wordsman View Post
        I organised [...] I now have pages and pages [...] I'm afraid to start processing the notes because of the heap of projects and actions I'll gain [...] I already have more to do than I can handle [...] I just need to get started
        cheers
        Cheers! I guess that that you're extremely happy about the results and the wealth of ideas you've achieved together with a bunch of creative people. A great achievement.

        And what an opportunity! Make use of the excitement of the *other* ones, too. They'll love you for delegating.

        Rolf

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        • #5
          Manager Tools: The Art of Delegation

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          • #6
            thanks everyone, makes a lot of sense. it's there anyway, I just don't want to face the vastness of it, but that doesn't help me feel any better about it. And, there are incredible ideas in there that'll help me move the business forward. Juts need to learn to delegate!

            cheers

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            • #7
              If you process to projects and are still scared then your next actions aren't next absolute physical actions yet. When you are processing make sure you focus on breaking your projects down into next action to move forward on that project.

              And don't forget to follow the 2 minute rule. The more less then 2 minute actions you complete, the less overwhelmed you will feel.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by wordsman View Post
                The trouble is, I now have pages and pages of notes, overflowing with projects and NAs. Enough development ideas to last a year, probably.
                Are you saying you have a ton of notes as a result of the two day workshop, but that haven't been processed? Are those notes different from a mind sweep you might have done? Normally, you'd have processed and organized all of the "stuff" from your sweep into projects, actions, waiting for, and your calender...

                My advice would be to treat the notes as more stuff. I use meeting notes as a case study, and advise folks to treat the meeting notes (workshop notes in your case) just like anything else: Toss them into your inbox, and process and organize them normally:
                What is it? Meeting notes. Actionable? Yes. Action: Pull out ideas, projects, actions, etc. Two minutes or less? No.
                Thus it becomes an action (or if very long, a project with an action), something like "process workshop notes." When you decide to do that action, you work your way through the notes, taking care of each item.

                Note: Processing the notes themselves may be a non-actionable item for you, depending on your priorities, possibly a Someday/Maybe. Also, many people find processing notes like this to be tedious (I do). The question is whether it's worth it to you or not...

                Hope that helps!

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