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Help, too many tasks!

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  • Help, too many tasks!

    I have been using GTD for 2 years.
    My NA lists are on Outlook, sinc with Palm Treo 680.
    I tend to add too many new tasks on my lists and so I feel overwhelmed when I look to my list, expecially @PC.
    When I realize this, I move some items to someday/maybe list, but it takes me so much time every weekly review.
    I'd like to find a method that helps me avoiding this.
    Thanks in advance...

  • #2
    I try to fit in some maintenance whenever i find myself resisting a task. If the reason is something like too much else to do, or not really a next action, i remedy that on the spot.
    During the weekly review I can then check that what I put on hold and what's active is still in line with my higher horizons.

    Comment


    • #3
      I just had an AHA moment and wanted to share it when found that message.

      I had that many NAs on my active lists too. Usually I'm fine with that many NAs (50 in a context) but sometimes you start to feel overwhelmed.

      The first step is to start delegating as much as you can. Just go through your project list (and SM as well) and ask yourself "Who can do it for me?". That would lighten your load and leave you space for the most important projects you have on your plate.

      The second step is to move all your active projects to Someday-Maybe leaving only very few essential projects (must do) on your active list. Start moving that projects that left to finish. Should you feel ready to accept another 1-3 projects back from your Someday-Maybe, do it and see if that helps to resolve your situation.

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      • #4
        Another suggestion (in addition to Borisoff's) for pruning an action list is to tag actions that would require < 10 minutes to complete and have at them. Doing that will also give you some "quick wins" and might get you juiced enough to tackle an action that overwhelm has left you unable to deal with before.

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        • #5
          If I'm feeling overwhelmed regarding the length of my lists. I just pick some less important N.A.'s and put them in the Tickler a few days hence. I keep 1 N.A. per index card so it's easy to sort and separate. I then have a shorter list to manage for a day or two. Of course, if my N.A.'s aren't small enough or well defined, no tricks are going to help in the long term.

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          • #6
            re: Help! I'm Overwhelmed

            To get back on track, try the Prune Your GTD System checklist.

            Hope that helps.
            Last edited by Todd V; 08-08-2012, 02:04 PM.

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            • #7
              Add new items to the Someday/Maybe list.

              Originally posted by aaresca View Post
              I tend to add too many new tasks on my lists and so I feel overwhelmed when I look to my list, expecially @PC.
              When I realize this, I move some items to someday/maybe list, but it takes me so much time every weekly review.
              As a rule add new ideas/projects/tasks to the Someday/Maybe list. Emergencies should be the only exception.

              Then move only a small number of items from Someday/Maybe to Projects and Next Action lists.

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              • #8
                Action

                How many activities do you do every day?

                Maybe the problem is not in your organization system, but in the action phase.

                If you continue to process your activities, you'll never do them. They continue simply to pass from a list to another.

                Install an habit in yourself: do 10 activities of your list every day. And respect this habit, of course.

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                • #9
                  This is also a warning sign that your Next Actions may not be concrete and actionable enough.

                  I can look at 1,000 NAs and not feel (too) overwhelmed, because whatever NA I look at is easy and can be immediately accomplished.

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                  • #10
                    Try having only one Next Action per context, or project.

                    After you tackle it, set the next one.

                    I think the feeling of overwhelm might come from (1) the definition of a next action combined with (2) having multiple next actions in the same place. Looks like an incompatibility.

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                    • #11
                      Brent, you mean 1000 NAs on somebody else's list?

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                      • #12
                        I think the thing to keep in mind is that you can juggle your lists and where you record things as much as you like, but at the end of the day, you've still got the same number of tasks, regardless of where they happen to be written down.


                        Cheers,
                        Roger

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                        • #13
                          Too many N.A.s

                          I've been using GTD for about 2 years.

                          I find that the someday/maybe list for me doesn't work well - there's too many NAs pouring in.

                          I also find that even if your doing your NAs perfectly, and you have 50 or 1000, there will still be times where it's overwhelming. This just happened to me, and I reckon it's like playing Tetris - when things get too fast even your best NA list will struggle to keep up. I researched how people handle this kind of stress and I did a short post on it:

                          http://visionadvancement.wordpress.c...handle-stress/

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by visitpaul View Post
                            I find that the someday/maybe list for me doesn't work well - there's too many NAs pouring in.
                            Hmmm. I'm confused. NAs don't belong on the Someday/Maybe list, nor should you have NAs relating to items on your Someday/Maybe list.

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                            • #15
                              Sometimes I move NAs to SM also just to lighten my project list and have that safety net not to loose that particular NA.

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