This is a great discussion, and certainly deciding what to do is a decision that often plagues me! I had been using due dates to make me try and get stuff done, but all that really did was make them go red, have me panic and then just change the due date again (and still not do the action)! When I first got to work this morning there were probably 150 actions that were in context for me to do while at work today.
So I decided that I could try some of the suggestions in this thread. Getting things off my plate was a great thought, I'm going on maternitity leave at the end of the year, and there were so many projects that I realalistically am simply not going to do before I leave, so I just dropped them all. Others were put on hold, and marked to review in a months time. I reduced my 'active' projects by about 2/3rds.
I then went through and removed all false due dates, to get rid of the panic I discussed above. At this stage I had reduced my 'next action' list to around 30 actions so I grouped them by project and went through and quickly flagged the things that either I really should get done today, or that I felt like doing today. I now have 9 things that I will get done today (in theory). I did have 15, but on a second look I realised that I had scheduled 15 hours of stuff to do in an 8 hour work period, so I chose between some actions that took up a lot of time each.
Interestingly, I tried to order the remaining actions by duration, but I didn't like the order. So I carefully broke up one item until it was in small enough pieces that it came 'first' on the list. I think that (for me at least) this shows that there are always some items that you want to do, either because you have a block next to the others (in my case because I am resentful that these actions are my responsibility in the first place) or some seem more fun. There is nothing wrong with doing things that you want to do first, first. I find that it helps me feel like things are getting done, and then I stay on track for the rest of the day. I guess others may feel that if they do the 'boring' stuff first, they get the 'reward' of doing the interesting stuff later.
Last edited by cyleigh; 2008-11-09 at 03:02 PM..