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unfinished projects = stress

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  • unfinished projects = stress

    there are 2-3 bigger projects which I should finish
    I can´t speed them up due to
    - lack of information / searching right person
    - lack of doing time (due to daily obligations)

    according to GTD one should break it down to the n/a and not try to finish the project at once
    the fact that they are NOT done bothers me

  • #2
    Influencing the world

    1.Some part of the world you can influence.
    2.Some part of the world you can't influence.
    3.In the grey area some things you can chose to influence or not.

    Stress from unfinished projects would likely come from:
    - you are not ok with accepting the fact 2 (which is a nice skill to work on)
    - and/or your issue is under point 3, and you haven't really yet decided what you want to do (wait or not? speed up or not? get angry about it or not?). some part inside you is calling for a decision.

    The great thing is that your stress comes from your think of the situation in a certain way. Once you shift the thinking, you shift the feeling. Even if nothing outside your world changes, everything gets different.

    Gonçalo Gil Mata


    • #3
      How clear are you on your outcome?

      If I read what you wrote literally then your primary problem is lack of time and lack of resources. Can you renegotiate your current agreements and obligations so that you do have time? Is this project more important or valuable to you and others than the current agreements you have? What's the next action that you need to take to find the resources you need? Do you need to post an ad to hire someone?

      I'm guessing that time and resources may not be your primary problem. I think that it might be a lack of clarity about your outcome...or perhaps your outcome is just too big to be managed as a project. I'm guessing that it's the former and not the latter.

      If you lack any clarity at all on the outcome that you've committed to about these projects then you won't be clear on how to proceed. At that point you have unprocessed "stuff" banging around in your head. Some part of you is going to feel like you should be handling this "stuff" every hour, minute or second unless you are sufficiently distracted by fires and crises (that you may or may not have created). This is what D.A. refers to as "getting caught in the busy trap". While you're trying to distract yourself from that voice in your head that grows louder and louder your energy, inspiration and enthusiasm are being drained more and more because of the guilt created by an unfulfilled commitment that you implicitly made with yourself.

      You have three options to get this monkey off of your back:

      1. Don't make the agreement
      2. Keep the agreement
      3. Renegotiate the agreement

      If you are absolutely 100% clear on your desired outcomes and inventory of projects and actions is complete and relevant then it's not difficult to exercise these options. My guess is that you're not able to exercise these options because you're not absolutely clear on your outcome or you still have unfinished thinking. It actually can be a project to clarify an outcome regarding some "thing". These projects start with terms like "Clarify", "Look into" or "R&D".

      Once you are clear on your desired outcomes then renegotiating other agreements so that you do have time to devote to the pursuit of a project is possible. If you're being honest with yourself and truly do not have time then you'll have to renegotiate that agreement you made to a later date when you will have time...or renegotiate your current agreements if it's important enough for you to tackle it now. You may have to relegate it to Someday/Maybe and learn to feel good about not doing it. As long as you review it regularly and consciously decide not to do it now you shouldn't have guilt about it.


      • #4
        I had same problem when I started using GTD. I just realized it disappeared after a while, probably because I managed smaller projects with GTD, so my brain gained trust to my ability to handle everything which is in system. So, my advice is to for a while focus to smaller projects and vain some trust to system.


        • #5
          One or two times I have moved a project to SDMB or even given up on it and somehow whatever was blocking it was cleared and the project got completed. I'm not saying this is the solution in this case, and it is quite rare, but interesting nonetheless.

          Originally posted by Tom.9 View Post
          there are 2-3 bigger projects which I should finish
          When I was much younger and going through therapy for anxiety problems, a therapist I saw said to ignore the "shoulds" in life. I've always found this to be good advice.