Oh no, not another list!

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Just when you thought it was safe to get back to work, I have another list idea for you. Actually, more than one.

Hold on. You might like this.

And no, it doesn’t matter which productivity system or app or planner you use. You can do this with tags or notebooks or paper.

This is about the subject of projects.

If you’re like me, you have a lot of them, and if you’re like me, your list often becomes unmanageable.

Which project should I work on right now? What do I have on tap after that?

Note, when I say “projects,” I’m not talking about a GTD-type project, i.e., anything with more than one step. I usually lump those in with tasks. I’m talking about things with bigger heft and longer time-lines.

Anyway, in order to gain some clarity and peace of mind, I recently took my project list and divided it into two lists:

(1) “Current Projects”. This is for projects I’m working on now (or should be). Having this list in front of me helps me focus and keeps me from neglecting things I need to work on.

Each project has a list of tasks and sub-tasks, notes, resources, ideas, and so on.

I try to limit this to 3 projects at a time.

(2) Next Projects. This is for the projects I intend to work on once I’ve completed the current projects. This helps me to prepare for those projects, providing a place to record ideas, notes, and so on.

Out of sight, but in a safe place.

Feeling more relaxed already.

But then I realized that I have other projects I need to put on a list, lest they get buried and forgotten. So. . .

(3) Ongoing & Recurring Projects. This is for things like writing my newsletter, updating my website, promoting something, content creation, and other responsibilities.

Nice. Every project has a home.

Alas, as I sat back to admire my work, something else occurred to me. What about projects I plan to do in the future?

Behold:

(4) Future projects. For projects I plan to do, but not “now” and not “next”.

Crazy, huh? Wait, don’t leave. I haven’t told you about my someday/maybe list.

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