Dealing with too many projects

If you follow GTD methodology then most likely you have plenty of projects. After all anything that takes more than 2 steps is a project. Over time this can be overwhelming and your project list becomes unmanageable. There are few things you could do with that.

1.Accept the limits.

You can’t do everything so you need to be careful what you allow into your space. We want to achieve a lot and we certainly can but not all at once. Overtime we will accomplish a lot but in given week we can only do this much. Limit the number of projects you work on only to those you can actually manage. Learn to say no, ask for guidance on priorities, make a good use of someday list and revisit things later.

2.Clean up

Dirt, clutter and overwhelm are result of inertia and leaving things unkept and stale. When your project list looks like that it’s time for a clean up. Remove completed or dead projects. If something has been finished mark it as done. Things have been cancelled, postponed for later. This means you no longer need to look at them. Make sure your project list reflects that. Delete those items. Your list MUST show only those items you’re actually working on this week or month.

3.Re-assess the purpose and end result

Has a project been stuck for weeks and you’ve avoided it like a plaque? Perhaps it’s time to go back to basics. Move away from the tactical level to take a look at the bigger picture. What is the purpose of the project? What do you want to achieve? Spend some time thinking about each and define where you want to get. Make it clear so there is no doubt about the end result.

4.Define the steps

Each project requires few steps to complete. If you haven’t done much about it, think of the necessary elements. Start from the end and work backwards until you get to first step. Then make a list the all the items and add at least one to your next action list. If this got you really excited book some time in your calendar and spend an hour or so working on the project.

5.Look at your priorities

If a project is your priority then why it’s not done? Re-define your priorities or look at them, giving yourself a fresh start. Once you’re clear, pick the first item and put the right amount of focus onto it. Schedule specific time to work on it. Add to your calendar and work on it daily until it’s completed.

6.Leverage reviews

Although, possibly most difficult aspect of GTD, review is one that helps to keep system up to date and working. Don’t skip it and make sure you do one as often as necessary. Once a week or every ten day will generally do but if you find that you constantly lose control do them more often. While doing the review make sure you review your project list. Add, drop or completely delete projects based on your current priorities and obligation. This will help you make sure you are only looking at things that have you focus.

Do you have a way of dealing with too many projects? What’s your best approach.

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