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Reducing task overload and bad multitasking by means of a simple feature Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

The app is really fantastic! I am lucky to have been part of the pre-release 500 and I'm extremely satisfied with the product.

However, I've experienced some undesired effects of using OF.

OF makes it so easy to create so many projects and tasks that the sheer number of them available for you to complete is daunting. This can (and in my case, has) lead to:
  • increased stress
  • loss of focus
  • bad multitasking (constant switching among tasks/projects)
  • reduced productivity

These negative effects are not OF's fault. They result directly from having too many open task/projects, generated by my mind --- and aided by the ease of OF's use. OF has just helped me expose the problem and I think it's not only my problem.

Bad multitasking by having too many open tasks/projects is proven to diminish productivity; there's ample research and practice to prove that. It's also an issue that the canonical exposition of GTD does not address explicitly.

Fortunately, the solution is very simple:
  1. Freeze (put on hold) a significant number of open projects (at least 20% of total workload)
  2. Use the increased productivity to speed up completion of open projects
    [*Once some open projects have been completed, defrost previously frozen projects to maintain a good ratio of project completion

(These are actually the first steps in implementing Goldratt's Critical Chain project management.)

Therefore, the following features might be very useful:
  • a counter of the number of active projects and tasks
  • ability to set a preferred max number of active projects/tasks
  • a "warning light" that would "flash" when the number of active projects/tasks approaches/crosses the max allowed number of open items

That would prompt the user to reconsider what they're committing themselves to undertake, freeze some of the projects/task, all this leading to:
  • increased rate of task/project completion
  • feeling of being in control
  • increased level of comfort and well-being

There' already a counter of Inbox items, so I guess it shouldn't be too difficult to implement this request, if you agree with my logic.
Months ago there was some clamoring on these forums for a "status bar" showing counts of visible and total actions and projects. If that ever got implemented, it might be a good place to put the kind of feedback you're talking about. (But I don't know if it ever will...)
How easy would it be to script such a set of features by a person with no experience in programming?

Is there a place to ask for such a script to be created?

yes .. the " extras " forum for omni focus .
Thanks for the hint, ext555

I posted the request on

A simple first step is to distinguish between "frozen" or "queued" projects (not yet released) and "active" projects. My limiting the number of active projects, you reduce bad multi-tasking, and increase project "velocity". By allowing the creation of "queued" projects, you maintain the option to plan future projects as details occur to you.

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