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future-sort of current-incubating projects

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  • future-sort of current-incubating projects

    Happy New Year all GTD-ers!

    Ideas please. I've really worked on trying to get a handle on my current projects vs someday/maybe, and have discovered a sort of in-between category: definite projects, but not on the immediate/short term list.

    So step one, once I realized they weren't exactly current, I found I could get more clarity by putting a "start date" as the next action on the hard landscape of my calendar. So far, so good. That's been great for not letting things slip between the cracks. But it has not exactly cleared my head. Many of these projects are just sort of simmering in the back of my mind -- not that I'm worried about them anymore, but the ideas are just flowing in this in-between period before I officially "start" the project.

    So I'm making these jottings and notes, and during the weekly review I add them to my project support/backup folders.

    Does this make sense? It feels right, but it certainly hasn't taken the project off my mind, which makes me wonder.

    What do you all think?


  • #2
    future-sort of current-incubating projects

    Hi, Marcia,

    This will either be reassuring or disturbing , but I do exactly the same thing. I keep this projects on my someday/maybe list, so they don't clog up the actual "moving" projects; but, occassionally, as I scan my someday/maybe list during the weekly review, I even see one actionable item (maybe a little research or something) that I *can* move on even if the majority of the project has to wait.

    I do seem to recall DA suggesting in the book that the way you know you've planned a project sufficiently is that the project is not on your mind. So, my first actual suggestion is to do some active (formal) planning or brainstorming on the project--more than just jotting down an idea as it hits you fixing dinner or whatever. My second thought is a personal observation: I find I can learn do better in dealing with inactivity/waiting. For a silly example, I'm waiting for a new DVD to be released, and I find I think about it quite a bit as if doing so would actually speed the release date. Same idea, though, applies to anything on the waiting-for list.

    So, bottom line, I'm in the boat with you. Can anyone add anything?



    • #3
      I have also found that some of my projects are not actionable at this time. I also put them on my someday/maybe list and on weekly review, move them to active projects if there is something that I can do.



      • #4
        I have also seen suggested that instead of having a single Someday/Maybe list, you split that into two lists.

        1) A Someday list for things you know you will be doing in the future but you're not working on right now.

        2) A Maybe list for things you're not sure that you will ever do.

        I've been doing this for a few months now and I like it a lot. It helps keep the lists to a more manageable size.


        • #5
          thanks all...good suggestions. I guess my curiosity was more about the "clearing your mind" phenomenon. I'm using the lists well, but they are not necessarily taking things off my mind. In some cases, feeling more confident about having them planned for later kind of frees up creative thinking about them when I'm not trying to think about them, if that makes any sense.

          In fact, if the "next action" I've calendarized is to develop the project plan, then all the little notes I've accumulated in the meantime are really helpful. But my mind isn't clear of the thoughts. (And the temptation is great to accelerate the next action while it's inspiring me, which isn't always a good idea if my plate is already full.)

          I guess it's just an odd example of how GTD spurs creativity!