Someday/Maybe Triaging

Michael Ramone

Registered
Today, I made a big change to my projects list.

I selected every project and skimmed through the list, asking myself, "What am I committed to?" I tapped every project that stood out, removing its selection. When I was done, I moved the entire selection to Someday/Maybe.

I felt immediately a great relief. All the projects that I no longer felt committed to had been removed from the active system. My projects list sat gracefully at 17 items.

Then I started to wonder, "Is this GTD? Have I violated a rule by deactivating so many projects that are theoretically active?"

Now, I'm questioning my split-second decision. I looked into alternatives to dumping the projects into Someday/Maybe, which primarily boiled down to creating a Later projects list, but I found none cleaner than simply using Someday/Maybe.

To make matters worse, I constantly hear GTDers dropping project counts around 100; one guy even claimed to have 250 active projects (I can't imagine!). Does anyone see a problematic reason for my discomfort with my long projects list? Or is it perhaps a normal individual preference?
 

RS356

Practicing GTD since 2005
I see no reason why moving these projects to Someday-Maybe is not considered GTD - rather, it’s very much in line with GTD best practices. The fact that you had a complete inventory of your projects allowed you to triage the truly important. You’ve simply renegotiated with yourself what these outcomes mean to you in your present situation. A split-second decision? Maybe. But being able to make these intuitive choices with confidence is what GTD is all about.

The number of projects on one’s list is, to me, highly individual and based on one’s circumstances. It’s far more important that your lists represent your current reality. Every project is different and requires different levels of time and effort.
 

mcogilvie

Registered
It’s fine. If you are questioning the move, move some back to active projects, one at a time, and see how you feel about it,
 

TesTeq

Registered
To make matters worse, I constantly hear GTDers dropping project counts around 100; one guy even claimed to have 250 active projects (I can't imagine!). Does anyone see a problematic reason for my discomfort with my long projects list? Or is it perhaps a normal individual preference?
I have less than 10 active Projects each week. For example in this week my main Project is "«15 seconds» book written", the recurring Project is "Blog post published", another one was "End of the windsurfing season done" (unfortunately my vest got damaged in the washing machine :( so I've got a new Project "New windsurfing vest bought").
 
Last edited:

Oogiem

Registered
I selected every project and skimmed through the list, asking myself, "What am I committed to?" I tapped every project that stood out, removing its selection. When I was done, I moved the entire selection to Someday/Maybe.

I felt immediately a great relief. All the projects that I no longer felt committed to had been removed from the active system. My projects list sat gracefully at 17 items.
Sounds to me like you've done exactly what you should do as part of how you implement GTD.

And this is from one of those hundreds of active projects people. (currently 149 active available projects, a new low for me) with I prefer long lists of choices. I have weather and labor availability constraints that mean I can't guarantee I can get to any specific project or action on a specific day or week or even season. I absolutely loathe subprojects so things that others would consider part of the same project are, for me all separate projects. It is what works for me. But that doesn't mean it's the only way or the best way or even a reasonable way for someone else.

GTD is a system of procedures that can be fine tuned to suit many different applications and many different styles of working. You need to do what works for you and it sounds like you are on the right track to do so.
 

Gardener

Registered
To make matters worse, I constantly hear GTDers dropping project counts around 100; one guy even claimed to have 250 active projects (I can't imagine!). Does anyone see a problematic reason for my discomfort with my long projects list? Or is it perhaps a normal individual preference?
I think it's a normal individual preference. 17 is a little high for me.
 

Hydro

Registered
I had this kind of problem, why put something on someday/maybe list even if I'm commited to do it...

I guess it's the someday part of someday/maybe and active lists (tasks or projects) are for things we are commited to do now (or in the week).

The other possible tool is tickler list, kind of someday / maybe but you don't even look at it until a certain date.
 

John Forrister

GTD Connect
Staff member
I selected every project and skimmed through the list, asking myself, "What am I committed to?" I tapped every project that stood out, removing its selection. When I was done, I moved the entire selection to Someday/Maybe.

I felt immediately a great relief. All the projects that I no longer felt committed to had been removed from the active system. My projects list sat gracefully at 17 items.

Then I started to wonder, "Is this GTD? Have I violated a rule by deactivating so many projects that are theoretically active?"

Now, I'm questioning my split-second decision. I looked into alternatives to dumping the projects into Someday/Maybe, which primarily boiled down to creating a Later projects list, but I found none cleaner than simply using Someday/Maybe.

To make matters worse, I constantly hear GTDers dropping project counts around 100; one guy even claimed to have 250 active projects (I can't imagine!). Does anyone see a problematic reason for my discomfort with my long projects list? Or is it perhaps a normal individual preference?
Michael, your decision is 100% fine. The relief you felt is one indicator. It is far better to have projects that you are not currently committed to on your Someday/Maybe list than what some people do to go for a low project count. They pretend that an outcome requires only a next action and is not a project. Good for you for being clear about your commitments.
 
Top