Recently I have been getting much more ruthless on putting new ideas in my Someday/Maybe Getting Things Done list rather than my Do this week list and then reviewing them in my weekly review. I used to add every idea for a task or improvement to my ToDo list and then feel overwhelmed by how much I had to do and not do any of it! Now with most of the longer term ideas saved in my Someday/Maybe list I have a clear mind and my Today ToDo list is only tasks that are either baby steps on important projects or urgent items for today


Random thoughts on avoiding overwhelm:

1. Schedule the tasks in a calendar (paper or online) - that way you are clear that a certain block of time is only for one project and if you want to do extra tasks/projects you either need to do them on later free days or delete or delay an earlier task. To be clear these tasks are not meetings with clients etc that have a hard day/time, they are appointments with yourself. When I used a Planner Pad (paper system) I did this sometimes with good results.

2. How much can you delegate? If you were out sick for a month how could you keep things moving on just 4 hours a week? I learned this question from a Tim Ferris interview video and it made me radically rethink some of my tasks.

3. I like the idea of knocking out smaller projects to get them off your list. This is one reason I bring big tasks into baby steps (eg ask Jane for the dentist's phone number, call dentist to schedule appointment, go to dentist) That is similar in concept to the Snowball debt reduction method where you pay extra money on the credit card with the smallest balance first. While mathematically paying extra on the one with the highest interest rate is best, emotionally it is best to get a small win faster by getting one card totally paid off to give you a pat on the back for paying off debt. That makes it more likely you will stick with the program. I know when I start my day getting smaller (and even psychologically harder) tasks off my GTD list I have momentum to then tackle larger tasks that might be more important in terms of results.


4. I often get a head start on creative projects like writing by forking off a part of my consciousness to work on it while I am doing other things, even sleeping. I just set the intent that I spin off a piece of my consciousness and that it will come up with good writing and that it will check back with me later with the results. Usually when I come to do the writing it just flows out of me. Or if I need a new idea I have it when I wake up. It is a pretty common magic and healing technique that can be applied to business. Note: it is important that you include the intent that the forked part of you does come back or has a time limit for existence of say a day. You don't want random pieces of you wandering around unguided...