Getting Projects Completed!
I try to focus on competing a few big things a week as I explained in this post. However partly because completion if difficult to define in my world and party because I have a lot of distractions completion doesn’t come easy. Scott provides a much needed critique of systems like GTD:
With traditional GTD-style methodology, during each day, you look at your current context and at your next action lists and choose what to do next. It’s easy, in this case, to fall into a infinite task loop where you are consistently accomplishing little actions from your next action lists but making little progress toward completing the big projects. This is what I call the Zeno’sParadox of Productivity. Give me any project, and I can fill days with easy, fun little tasks on the project without ever finishing it.
and then provides some much needed advise starting with these tips:
Make an Active Projects List
List 6 – 12 of the most important projects in your life. Pull from all three relevant spheres: professional (e.g., school or work related); personal (e.g., home, family, fitness); and extra (e.g., big projects like blogging, writing a book, starting a club).
Label Each Project With A Completion Criteria
To quote David Allen, to finish a project you must “know what done looks like.” Next to each project type a concise description of what action must be completed for the project to be completed. (When you do this, you’ll notice how easy it was for you before to think about projects in a much more ambiguous, impossible to complete style).
Label the Bottom Half of the Page as a “Holding Pen”
This is where you can jot down new projects that enter your life while you’re working on the active projects. They can be stored here until you complete the current batch.
Definitely worth a read. Scott sums up his post as follows:
The work flow rhythm required by completion-centric planning is as close as I can get to describing how really accomplished people tend to tackle their work. This approach doesn’t have the same effortless, autopilot appeal of a pure, GTD style work flow. But, unfortunately, accomplishment is not pretty. If you want to make your mark, you have to learn how to charge after things with a furious zeal. This system will help you develop that trait. The rest will follow.