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Originally Posted by DrJJWMac View Post
Sounds familiar to me. Some lessons I apply can be phrased briefly as ...

* break elephants in to small pieces to eat (this idea was stated far better by someone else somewhere on the forums ... thank you!!)
* handle a review the big picture as diligently as doing the daily tasks
* when a sense of anxiety sets in, break the loop by stopping what is at hand, finishing some other remedial task, then rebooting the machine
* not everything is a fire, and not every fire demands an emergency call to 911
* pressures from outside are out of your control, the response you have to them is where you set your safety valve
* if something does not get done when you thought it should, that may just mean that you should have deferred it or put it on hold in the first place

Some words of encouragement and specific ideas ...

I've recently taken a dedicated period of time to "reboot the machine" with a focused review of my Kanban + OF (+ Curio) GTD methods. I have now a greater sense of oversight (seeing the big picture) with a result in a decreased sense of being overwhelmed. It is worth the effort!

I absolutely only set due dates for when something must be done according to someone else's time schedule. I always set "defer" (or start) dates on something that I cannot do or do not want to do until that later time. I have a lot more projects on hold than I every had in the past. This has cleared out a lot of otherwise distracting tasks from my action lists.

If a task is equal to a fire that does or might require the equal to a 911 call, that task must have a Due Date not a flag. I flag tasks as ticklers, not as "this task must be done as URGENT and IMPORTANT". This changed has helped lower my stress when I review my (sometimes long) list of flagged tasks.

I use one-line tasks that say the equivalent of "start this next action group" in a sequential project just before an action group that contains a bunch of tasks. This collapses the many tasks as one until I am really ready to start them. My action lists are far shorter, resulting in less sense of being overwhelmed.

I try best to work through Due (Forecast) to Active (Flagged) or Waiting For (custom perspective) to Next (a custom perspective) tasks in that order when doing my work.

Hope this helps.
Thanks DrJJWMac, I think there are some very helpful bits here regarding the approach of breaking things down into smaller tasks. I guess that's really the part I'm struggling with when it comes to my organization. I have a giant list of things i'd "LIKE" to do but unsure of the best way to break them down and track them in the OF system and also, determining which I should be focusing on at any given time. I'd love to hear some examples for how any of you might incorporate and manage some of your goals in OF. I'm also curious how many of you use OF to track things that are more Hobbyist stuff versus more work or enrichment stuff. For example I have a list of games I'd like to play in my freetime. Part of me wonders if I'm maybe overdoing it by putting this list into OF or if I should just sort of leave it out and whenever I have free time that I'd like to use to sit down and do something for fun, just do whatever I want.

I also take a similar approach to Due Dates, leaving them out unless they are things that absolutely must be done by a certain time (paying bills for example). I don't really utilize the flag system at all really...not sure if there's a proper or interesting way to incorporate this into my system or not.