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-   -   sort of priorities question (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=11838)

gerben 2009-04-04 01:51 PM

sort of priorities question
 
Hi all, i have a (sort of..) priority question/problem that someone overhere might just have the solution or brilliant idea for..!

I now have a quite extensive OF database that keeps track of, well my life. I'm a freelancer, artist, curator, part of a small group who runs a project space, and i'm a human who likes to live. So part of the reason to use OF is to keep sure all these aspects of the spectrum get the attention they deserve, and not just the latest, greatest or most screaming ones. Guess this sounds somewhat familiar to you all;-)

I use flag's, due's, start dates for the stuff (actions) i want or need to do at certain point in time, but there is a (sort of) in between these things thing that i also would like to tackle..
For instance, i said yes to a non paying freelance project (in order to hopefully generate some paying projects), but no matter how hard i set my mind on low priority on this, and no matter how hard i explain this to this client, i keep getting bugged with it; literally and therefore also in my mind. But it's not something i want to flag or set due dates on..
Same goes for another project, something i'm doing for a friend, and requires a lot of work, but keeps falling of the radar.. or maybe just plain procrastinating..

Anyway, i need some kind of "keep a bit more on radar" type of thing/method; i now made a short list that sit's on top of it all called bugzzz on wich i just retype the stuff that bugzzz me (so no links or whatever to the projects, i know where to find them), but i could imagine this going fancier and easier? I'm not using the review yet; not there yet on the habit change scale..

Maybe a little vague this, but anyone any ideas?

curt.clifton 2009-04-04 02:32 PM

Perhaps not the answer you're looking for, but the way I've been (somewhat) successful with problems like this is by being rigorous about weekly and monthly reviews. If something is popping into my conscious, then that means I have open loops that I need to think about.

I think the other piece is renegotiating commitments when there are more projects than I could possibly do at once. This might mean renegotiating with myself or others. But I've decided I'm being dishonest if I leave more projects active than I can make progress on. (I put these renegotiated projects On-Hold or set future start dates in OF.) My experience has been that people are very open to renegotiating commitments if I'm honest with them and up front about my other commitments.

wilsonng 2009-04-04 03:07 PM

I put almost everything into my Someday/Maybe. At least I know my interests and future projects are recorded somewhere for me to look at. It's a list of all the things that have captured my interest as something I may or may not want to do.

During my weekly review, I would seriously sit down and determine whether I really have the desire to do them or not. I'll determine the reward of having finished a particular project (acquiring a new language or some such). If I decided that the reward for doing a project is not worth it then I would just drop it or delete it from my Someday/Maybe folder.

During the Weekly Review, I would also look at the Someday/Maybe projects and determine at least one to three projects (the Big Rocks of the week) that I would like to focus on for the week. I would schedule my work week to get the next actions done for those particular projects.

As curt.clifton said, we only have so much time to do things. Heck, I'd like to learn eight different languages but I can't possibly do any of them well because I'll have too many committments or projects open. It's better to get laser focus and complete a project.

Put all of those non-paying projects into your Someday/Maybe folder. Tell your colleagues that you'll stew on it. Determine your future outcome and your reward. Is it really worth the effort to commit to those non-paying projects?

No sense in just adding to your task list when the payback isn't worth it. We can't be a people-pleaser all the time. I've learned to say "No" to many a project that I would consider not worth the time and effort. Just because someone asks "hmmm.... it might be nice if you could do this and that." But if those folks expect something for free, then I'd forget about it or at least discuss with them what I'd like in return.

We can easily overload our OmniFocus task list with projects from other people. Time is precious. Sometimes other people want you to do something for free. Other people should realize that they don't have the right to waste your time. Otherwise you're being taken advantage of. If the questioner is willing to commit to a project/proposal in the form of money or compensation, then I would seriously consider the proposal.

Of course, some projects are worth doing despite the lack of physical compensation. There are some things where I would not ask for compensation because it fulfills the spiritual area of responsibility (donating or do community service for the church). That's my reward - giving back to the community.

Negotiate with those folks now. If you are expecting future projects from them, it would be best to be upfront now about what you expect if you commit to a freebie project. Otherwise you'll be disappointed when all your effort and hard work results in nothing but more promises for future work.

Perhaps you already have a portfolio or references that you have built upon? Then you could show them your body of work and get some real proposals/contracts rather than "bait" to work on a project for free.

gerben 2009-04-05 12:49 PM

Thanks for the comments; the time has come for a weekly review;-)

wilsonng 2009-04-05 02:11 PM

Yes, I think the weekly review is the magic ingredient in GTD that makes it all work.

First timer GTDers are enamored by the collection process but forget about doing the weekly review in order to keep our task lists manageable.

If a tree becomes too large, we have to prune it to make the landscape fit our view.

Using the weekly review will help you determine where your "priorities" are and bring laser sharp focus on what you should be doing instead of just adding projects and tasks that don't mean much to you.

Anything that is not a high priority to you should be placed in the Someday/Maybe folder. Then when you have time for your weekly review, look at that project once again and determine if you will actually get value from the project. If you don't get any value, delete it.

I have had many time-waster projects that have sat in my Someday/Maybe folder. It is during the weekly review, that I'm able to weed out the projects that no longer align with my personal goals or cost-benefit ratio.

There's no sense in having dead wood or dead branches that just hinders the growth of the tree. Prune off the non-productive branches (projects that won't bear fruit) and the tree can grow once again.

If you can get something out of the project that is worth your time and effort, go for it. But that's up to you to decide ;-)


Good luck...

Lucas 2009-04-06 04:30 AM

You might also try grouping by project in context view. Then, for whatever contexts you have selected, your top-ordered project's actions are at the top. Also, make the visibility set to available. Now, you know that each one of those items is available to do, you just have to knuckle down and do them!

gerben 2009-04-06 01:08 PM

I'm a quite new omnifocus user; i come from things, so still experimenting a bit with perspectives. But i can see this might work too!
In the end though i realize i have to "engage" more with my lists, one of the reasons why i like omni way better then things. But the opportunities don't necessarily result in new habits...;-) I'm doing kind of daily/weekly reviews that work for me for the now aspect; the vertical focus obviously falls off this way. But then of course, one habit at a time!


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