Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.

Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

PROJECT list for this week only - questions

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • PROJECT list for this week only - questions

    I just discovered an important distinction from reading through many posts here on the forum and wanted to ask a few questions.

    Many helpful posters on this forum have suggested that your PROJECTS list should only contain the PROJECTS you're planning on moving forward this week, and your NEXT ACTIONS list should only contain the actions you're planning on doing this week. I never knew this! THank you! This helps me define my work more effectively - I was just adding projects and next actions to a huge list, which made me anxious every time I looked at it (i.e. oh look, now I have 601 things to do instead of 600).

    So do all other projects and next actions that I'm not planning to complete within the week go on SOMEDAY/MAYBE? How do you handle projects and N/As that you can't get to this week but want to do next week or the week after? Do you just stick them in SOMEDAY/MAYBE and deal with it at the weekly review, or do you put it on your calendar?

    I have many clients and projects that need to be done "as soon as possible" but I get to decide when that is. At some point, however, the project seems to be "overdue" as I've had the Project undone for a month or two. How do I move these forward if there's no real deadline?

    Also, in general, how many projects/next actions do people try to do per day? I know it varies immensely depending on the type of work but I tend to think I can do way more in a day than I do, and I always end up feeling like a loser at the end of the day.

  • #2
    Some people put future projects in Someday/Maybe, some use a separate Pending list. Whatever works is fine, but in my experience trying to divide things too finely is counterproductive.

    You might try logging your time for a week or two to see how much you can actually accomplish in a day. That's likely to be more helpful than any advice we could give. For instance, I might get only one or two NAs done today, but that's because a large chunk of my day is going to be dedicated to wrapping up a major project. Once that is done, I'll spend a day working through smaller administrative stuff, and might knock off a dozen or more NAs. YMMV.

    Moving projects without deadlines can be a challenge for me, too, so I'm interested in seeing what other people come up with. The two approaches that seem to work for me are creating artificial deadlines, and blocking out time on my calendar.

    Katherine

    Comment


    • #3
      Katherine:

      I know you use a paper system, too. How do you deal with projects that you add to your Projects list and then discover you'll not get to them right away? Do you cross them off your Projects list and add them to your Someday/maybe list and then re-copy them back to Projects at a future Weekly Review?

      I'm trying to find a way to limit the amount of re-writing I have to do as Projects change.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by GTDWorks View Post
        Katherine:

        I know you use a paper system, too. How do you deal with projects that you add to your Projects list and then discover you'll not get to them right away? Do you cross them off your Projects list and add them to your Someday/maybe list and then re-copy them back to Projects at a future Weekly Review?

        I'm trying to find a way to limit the amount of re-writing I have to do as Projects change.
        It depends on the situation. If I hope to get to it "soon," I'll just leave the project where it is. But if I do move to Someday/Maybe, yes I cross it off the Project list and re-add later on.

        *shrug* Any paper system is likely to involve some rewriting (well, maybe not index cards), but in practice I've found it's just not that onerous.

        Katherine

        Comment


        • #5
          Decided to do.

          All projects on the Project list are the ACTIVE PROJECTS. The projects you are sure you want to make progress on. It does not matter if the Next Actions will be done in this or next week. But they will be done. You simply decided to do them as soon as possible.

          On the other hand you haven't got such certainty for Someday/Maybe projects. In some cases you even don't know if you will ever start them.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
            All projects on the Project list are the ACTIVE PROJECTS. The projects you are sure you want to make progress on. It does not matter if the Next Actions will be done in this or next week. But they will be done. You simply decided to do them as soon as possible.

            On the other hand you haven't got such certainty for Someday/Maybe projects. In some cases you even don't know if you will ever start them.
            That was exactly my reason for introducing the list of pending projects: These are projects which I am committed to do, but they are not active because I cannot work on them in the next two weeks. They go back to someday/maybe only if I withdraw this committment.

            Wolfgang

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by wowi View Post
              That was exactly my reason for introducing the list of pending projects: These are projects which I am committed to do, but they are not active because I cannot work on them in the next two weeks. They go back to someday/maybe only if I withdraw this committment.

              Wolfgang
              I interpret the "Maybe" in Someday/Maybe" diferently. Maybe means, maybe I get to it, after I dealt (not necessarily finished) the active projects.

              So your "Pending" is my "Someday/Maybe" and TesTeqs "Someday/Maybe" is my "Idea Cauldron". And most ideas I do not even add any longer. The good ones will resurface anyway and I save soem overhead.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                All projects on the Project list are the ACTIVE PROJECTS. The projects you are sure you want to make progress on. It does not matter if the Next Actions will be done in this or next week. But they will be done. You simply decided to do them as soon as possible.

                On the other hand you haven't got such certainty for Someday/Maybe projects. In some cases you even don't know if you will ever start them.
                To solve this problem I use two lists: Someday and Maybe. Someday items I'm comitted or at least want them to do. Maybe has to be decided, but ideas are collected.

                Yours
                Alexander

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cpu_Modern View Post
                  So your "Pending" is my "Someday/Maybe" and TesTeqs "Someday/Maybe" is my "Idea Cauldron". And most ideas I do not even add any longer. The good ones will resurface anyway and I save soem overhead.
                  I think the method not to enter ideas, contradicts the GTD-philosophy to keep all items in a trusted system to disburden your brain.

                  If I have an idea for a Maybe-project I write the GTD-project page on my pda and link it to the Maybe-list. If I have further ideas belonging to this project, I can always file them there.

                  Yours
                  Alexander
                  Last edited by hth; 10-26-2007, 08:07 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I use "pending projects" for projects about to start, particularly for those that are following one on my active list, and someday/maybe for everything else. It is a precarious thing if you don't regularly go through your someday/maybe list - at least on a weekly basis. Some other things I find that help me:

                    1) I will often end a project on my active project list by activating another one. In that case I will either pick from my pending projects list or scan my someday/maybe, which I end up scanning more than once a week.
                    2) Another thing I find that helps me is to break down a project into smaller projects if I find I'm just not progressing on one.
                    3) As I get closer to my weekly review, I suddenly quickly progress on as many projects as I can, just so they can get crossed off my list and I can add new ones. (I do my weekly review Sunday night, as I prepare for the week.)
                    4) I like shorter project lists that are continuously evolving. I also have a few "master projects" on my list that track some smaller subprojects. These won't get done in a week. These subprojects that are not active yet will be in my pending projects list.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I do not make separate project lists by week

                      I do the long list of all my projects (unless they are truly someday/maybe) and next actions. Something in my brain allows me to look at that list and still be okay with its undoable length. I just know I have captured absolutely everything so it's no surprise that my list is as long as it is.

                      I use Life Balance on a Palm so I can fiddle with priorities and have somethings closer to the top of my list that I ought to be paying attention to.

                      What I like about a massive list is that I spend little to no time fiddling and compartmentalizing.

                      I do have a recurring Next Action that prompts me to scan through the list for deadwood and move to a S/M list or delete altogether. It's a great brain dead activity. I also do this at my weekly review.

                      Michael

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The weekly review of the project lists occurs after looking at the the old action list and the Calendar. This puts me in a good position to decide where it is best to spend my time this week, and what, if any, projects are best put on hold til I get through what is most important.

                        I am new at this, so right now it is a great relief to be able to move some projects to a 'not this week' or 'background mode' list. For example, in the last week of the quarter, I might want to narrow my focus to polishing off my remaining commitments for that quarter. I imagine that as I gain more insight into what is possible to do in a week, my planning will be less optimistic, and a 'not this week' project list might not be as important.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thank you all so much for your comments. ArcCaster, I'm with you - am new to this and enjoy defining my committments for the week.

                          I like the Pending Projects category, I think I'll adopt that, as there are projects I've committed to do to someone else, and then there are Someday/Maybe projects which would be nice to do but only if I'm sitting around twiddling my thumbs someday (which has never happened. I'm hoping one day by using GTD it will!)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Projects I'm Not Doing Now

                            I have found a "Pending Project" category helpful for me. I call mine "Projects I'm Not Doing Now" because I need to be reminded that the projects in that section are not what I'm focused on for that week.

                            I am very excited at the beginning of projects and love to brainstorm and problem solve and come up with the process for how to do things. Unfortunately, I'm not always as good at finishing them. In my Circa notebook, I have one tab for Projects where I have a projects list and then a support page for any projects that require more than one next action. The next tab is labeled "Projects I'm Not Doing Now" and contains project support pages for things I'm not working on this week, but still find myself thinking about. For example, I have in this section the menu for Thanksgiving dinner. I'm not going to do anything about it this week, but it's coming soon. "Projects I'm Not Doing Now" is almost like a "Projects to Brainstorm" context because I find myself looking through and jotting notes on the pages when I can't move forward on any of my focused projects for the week.

                            It's helpful to have it seperate from my next action lists because I know I would gravitate towards doing the actions for the future projects at the exciting brainstorming phase instead of focusing on the current planned out projects. The funny thing is that looking at my pending "not doing now" projects is almost like a reward when I've completed my current next actions.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              ooh, cool idea Mindi! I like that a lot. I, too, love the creative inventing of projects, not so great at finishing the boring ones. I then tend to cherry pick my actions, leaving the boring ones for Friday afternoons.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X