Enough Projects Already

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Jul 11

One of the things I have been working on this week is moving my projects to MindManager with “next actions” being placed into my “Getting Things Done” tracking system, a software programs called GTD Tracks.

I had my projects in GTD Tracks, but after using it for a bit, the projects were just disjointed — and driving me crazy, the only thing that doesn’t work the way I would like with GTD Tracks.

What MindManager does for me is clearly organize all of the little subject areas of a project — such as objective of the project, sub-topics, and completions — with the ability to see the entire project in some logical order within the sub-topics.

But, you know what? I have too many projects! I’m not talking about “projects” in the definition of David Allen: anything more than one “next action” is a project — which is true and I follow that definition.

But what I’m seeing is that I have too many projects for the bandwidth I have to spend on them. Each of the sub-projects I have would be enough to keep me occupied for a fair amount of time — time I don’t have.

Consider something simple: I’m in the process of moving my blogs from Yahoo! hosting to Bluehost hosting. Three blogs, plus my personal site that is under construction.

But lots of steps to complete; all time consuming. Set up the blog, set up a sub domain, FTP the files from the old blog and upload them to the new site, and on and on.

I moved one of my sites and it took two days. Just to move it.

My point is not that my life is busy (and I’m outsourcing the move of my other sites, trading dollars for time), but that, on average, we have way too many projects to do and all are competing for our time.

Too many projects at work, too many projects outside of work. It’s getting worse.

How many projects, say consisting of twenty “next actions” is too much?

  • Scot,

    I think you’ll find a rich, flexible environment in MindManager through which to drive your GTD implementation. One upfront tip is to establish a shared set of standards and formats across your map terrain. The icon sets can be especially helpful toward such ends.

    You may get a kick out of the free MindManager life management templates I offer at my website. They make use of Gyronix’s ResultsManager, which is a great tool for GTD/productivity system implementation.

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