I don’t want to spend a lot of time editing my Current Projects list. I do it once or maybe twice throughout the month, but I think of this list as the “big rocks” I’m working on.
Even 1-3 Current Projects can be sufficient. Mine usually span the whole month, and they can each take between 3 and 20+ hours to complete.
Here’s what Shayla shared as an example:
- A cozy gift exchange in an online community I’m in. It wasn’t planned at the beginning of the month but I am not sure its “big enough” to actually be a project. It did take a chunk of my Saturday that would have been designated otherwise. It involved the ordering of an item, going to the store to pick up another, packaging and writing a note, and going to the post office to mail. Something that could all be listed under individual “errands” and checked off. Or should this be thought of as a project? Then I debate do I really want this to count as one of my eight? lol
In that case, I would recognize in my mind that I am choosing to put my energy into this multi-step task, and I would reduce my expectations around other projects or routines, but I would just use my calendar and Next Actions List to manage these things. If the main issue is the need to validate the way you are spending your time—or see a visual representation of what you have accomplished—you could definitely write this on a “Happy Success” list. (Link to Danielle’s post)
Principle #2: Utilize the Routines List for anything that is done over and over.
- My son’s cub scouts needs to use our neighborhood clubhouse as a meeting spot each week. So I am the one responsible for booking each of these which I have to complete an online form for each date which is about 15 different ones. Is this a “project” or just a “task”? I have already completed the portion of paying for and dropping off the check etc, those were errands a previous week.
I would simply create a recurring task in Asana (or a Google Calendar reminder, if you use paper planning resources), reminding me to fill out the form—and I would put the form link right there in the task or calendar event, so I wouldn’t have to go looking for it.
- Another thing I struggle with determining is when do “events” or connection opportunities change to a project? Again, for me its more about budgeting my time so that I am not giving myself 7-8 projects PLUS all these other things, but I also want to keep them separate if they need to be. So, for example this month I had a couple opportunities that popped up to help a friend and keep her kids for the afternoon and take them to some fun things. I don’t consider this a project, I consider it a connection/social thing on my “create my week” but there’s big chunk of time, planning, going etc involved. And so when editing my projects I want to keep record in a way so that I see why maybe something else didn’t get as much focus as I wanted.
If the events that ended up as your priority will take more than a few days–or if your mental bandwidth is suffering because of it, I would add that to your Current Projects List so you have a visual representation of where your focus belongs, and I would move something else into “Next in Line” with a calendar trigger to potentially move it back in a few days.
- I have two different weekly women’s groups and we are completing a Bible study. Do I list this under my spiritual connection/social connection and NOT as a project or is it all three?
If you’re figuring out where you’ll meet, what you’ll study, how often, etc., that would be a project (if you’re the one in charge). Otherwise, I would just add this to my Routines List, and during “Create My Week,” I would look at these events on my calendar and recognize that I have a some great social and spiritual activities already planned! I would then pay closer attention to my private spiritual study, my exercise and nutrition, my family-focused activities, etc. during my weekly and daily “creation.”
- I need to get my son scheduled for some counseling. I have had this on my next actions to make the calls and have made several but have been stopped by one obstacle or another. So is this just something that I need to dedicate an hour to making various phone calls to and hopefully check it off as a “task” or is this a project?
If this will take an hour or so, it doesn’t sound like a task. If you already have the phone number, you already know if your insurance will or won’t cover it, you know exactly what to say to the receptionist, and you can just “make the call,” that is a task. But if you need to do research, talk with a partner or spouse about something, take some time to make a decision, sort through emotions, etc., that’s what I would call a project. This would go on my Current Projects List in the Family section, and even if it gets done quickly, and I can move other things onto my list, it helps me give it the focus it deserves.
- Along the same lines, I need to write a letter to my insurance company about some information I received from an agent regarding “durable medical equipment” and getting pre-authorization from my doctor only to go get the item and find out it “is never covered by my insurance” anyway. How to categorize this?
- Happy Success List
- Create Your Year
- STEP Mastery – Join or upgrade by the end of March, and you’ll receive lifetime access to our special class about using Digital Project Managers to organize your personal and professional tasks!
- ARISE Membership – Our March class features a training by my personal coach/therapist, and you’ll learn how to go through a mood log and identify your Self-Defeating Beliefs. (SO helpful!) Hope to see you inside!
Thank you for taking the time to address this so carefully. It has been very clarifying for me.
This was such an excellent podcast episode. Very helpful. Thank you!
I usually learn something new or have it reinforced. These podcasts really address the questions that come up and the answers are so clear and well-explained. I just love them.