Long-term projects can be tricky
“The distance is nothing, it’s only the first step that is difficult.” ~ Madame du Deffand
One of my favorites David Allen’s statements is that you cannot do projects, you can only do action steps. In the end, a project shows up as done after doing a lot of small, physical and visible actions that make the world fits with what you had in mind.
The usual problem with long-term projects is that the label long term invites you to procrastinate, to take no action right now. If you have a project that has to be done within the next three years, it is easy to postpone the task of figuring out what the first next action step should be.
A common mistake in GTD, is to add these long-term projects to the Someday/Maybe list. However, there is an important difference between something that is long term and something that falls into the category of Someday/Maybe. If you have commited to do a project, it falls into the category of as soon as possible (although as soon as possible may be three years) and there should be an action step defined for it to progress. If you do not define an action step, physical and visible, as soon as possible will become never. No matter how far it is the commitment date; if you think about it, surely there is something you can do right now.
The Someday/Maybe list should have only things you have not committed yet (and maybe you will never do). Some of them will be projects in the future, but others may be just wishes and good intentions.
If you make an agreement to do a long-term project, a critical success factor—and also very motivating—is to do small action steps in the short term that take you nearer the desired result.
Take a look at your Projects List. Have you defined a next action step for each one?
This post is closed to new comments.
Try it FREE for 30 days
Learn how to live a more productive, less stressed life.
- Be Selfish
- The Cult of Speed, a Productivity Misconception
- 4 Strategies to Get Motivated in 2015
- Multiple To-Do Lists, a Medicine Against Stress
- The Positive Psychology Behind GTD
- FacileThings: Changelog (Nov. 2014)
- Productivity Strategies: Exploration vs Exploitation
- How To Be Productive When Bored
Don't you know FacileThings?
Just published: Be Selfish http://facilethings.com/blog/en/be-selfish #productivity
Posted on Dec 22, 08:55
Just published: The Cult of Speed, a Productivity Misconception http://facilethings.com/blog/en/cult-of-speed
Posted on Dec 15, 08:37
How to Fight Interruptions http://bit.ly/YOZfps #productivity
Posted on Dec 11, 18:59
Just published: 4 Strategies to Get Motivated in 2015 http://facilethings.com/blog/en/improve-your-motivation #productivity #motivation
Posted on Dec 08, 09:14
Multiple To-Do Lists, a Medicine Against Stress http://facilethings.com/blog/en/multiple-to-do-lists #productivity #gtd
Posted on Dec 01, 09:29