Step 2 - Get organized with Projects
"I define a project as any desired result that requires more than one action step. This means that some rather small things that you might not normally call projects are going to be on your "Projects" list. (...) Your Projects" list will be merely an index. All of the details, plans, and supporting information that you may need as you work on your various projects should be contained in a separate file folders, computer files, notebooks, or binders."
David Allen, "Getting Things Done and the Art of Stress-free Productivity"
Like it or not, you will be a Project Manager.
We tend to think Project Managers are the guys who manage big investments, take-overs or create great products. We are all Project Managers as we manage our day-to-day tasks inside our projects. We have to be Project Managers in order to get things done.
Project is more than you think.
As David Allen said, anything that requires more than one thing to do is a project. Here's a list of possible projects:
Totally different projects, yet all of them help me organize my stuff and keep my mind free. I organize all my stuff into projects. Many projects... and I always try to abide by these rules:
Short, yet descriptive project names.
I keep the names of my project short, yet try to make them as descriptive as possible. When I started creating Nozbe there was only one project: "Nozbe" on my project list. With the amount of different type of activities my web application has created, I had to split this project into "Nozbe development", "Nozbe marketing", etc.
I'd rather have more projects than less.
Contrary to what you might think, more projects means more transparency. With more projects I see my all of my pending activities at one glance of an eye. Following the example with the "Nozbe" projects I have 7 projects associated with Nozbe.
I move tasks, notes and files between projects very often.
It's a great thing you can move stuff between projects without rewriting your entire tasks-lists or notes. Just two clicks of the mouse and it's done. Whenever I realize I need an additional project derived from my "master project", I just go ahead and create it and later move the associated material there.
Hierarchy can be very limiting. I prefer to have similar projects on the side rather than sub-projects. This is why we've introduced project tagging in Nozbe. This enables me to cross-tag some projects and display them under several tags.
Maintaining focus when getting things done.
Back in Step 1 in this course we talked about having a clear and focused mind. Project tagging helps me stay focused. When I work on Nozbe, I simply click on the Nozbe's tag and the rest of the projects disappear from my list so I have no more distractions - I'm seeing only projects related to Nozbe, nothing else, I'm focused.
I love to keep things simple. Adding priorities to projects or tasks feels like over-complicating the picture. I prefer just to re-organize projects with drag-and-drop in Nozbe by using the "hand" icon next to the project name. Higher-placed projects have higher priorities. That's it.
Again – all the reference material at hand
As we talked in Step 1 of this course – in order to get things done I need to have my project-related stuff at hand so I always make sure I have all my tasks, actions, notes and files added to my projects to have it there when I need to get things done and process my actions in order to successfully finish the projects.
The bottom line:
Organize everything into Projects... which can be more than "just projects". If you're using Nozbe, you'll be able to easily keep your mind focused and project organized by tags and prioritized by simple reordering. Always remember to add your reference material to all your projects.