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19

There are a few things I do, because very much like you with work, family, home there is very little time for side projects or as my wife says "do more work". I spend some time up front (like 15 minutes) mapping out features, tasks, etc that need to be done to complete the project. I then group these into kind of logical stopping places (kind of like you ...


17

I have been coming up against the same barrier since my children were born (six years and counting...:-). Although I haven't found a sweet spot yet, I found the following helpful I work in the morning before everyone gets up, or in the evening after everyone has gone to sleep. It really depends on the type of person you are and your family situation. I ...


14

First, change your expectations. You don't have a full 5 hours a day you could be spending on your project - you have a family, and you can't expect to be able to ignore them all evening. If you start out by thinking you should be able to do 5 hours of work, you'll always end up disappointed and unmotivated. I find that if I expect rapid progress and ...


13

Personally, the weekly review is what brings all that together. Realistically, you are not going to work on every next action in one week. So just have a list of what next actions you are going to work on and the context in which you will do them. Then at your next weekly review, sort back those actions you completed to the projects they were for. ...


13

That's tough. One option is to spend an hour a day on it after work. Progress is slow. But slow but steady is better than nothing. Planning on how you can make small tasks helps find the motivation. It's less overwhelming to create a form with one element than a whole app. Other options are to work on it during your commute (if you take mass transit) ...


12

How to be productive in the buffer or grace periods of the project or work? Here are a few things which might keep you busy and motivated: work on your technical debt (there is always something) improve your skills (do several research spikes around technologies you might have to use in the future) build a prototype of the next project (even if ...


12

Some ideas for your 12 books: Choose your books carefully. Pick good books on topics you want to know about. Read for enjoyment first, information second. Don't get hung up on the number of books you read. Instead, focus on getting the best from each book. If numbers really matter to you, choose thin books. Consider whether all your books need to be ...


11

A couple ways I would do it: 1 way is to set intermediate deadlines. So in 1 week, you need to be 25% done, and in 2 weeks you need to be 50% done. You set the milestones depending on what kind of project is. So if it's a research paper, by week 1 you need to have the outline done. By week 2, you need to have a rough draft done, etc. When the first week ...


11

No, this is definitely not a mistake. In fact, I'd be very surprised if you didn't find yourself with multiple next actions for a given project. For example, think of any large construction project. There are obviously steps that have clear predecessor-successor relationships: you cannot put up the drywall until the walls are framed, you can't paint until ...


10

Its a fairly big if - and raises questions like 'Raising kids is hard work - should that count towards my 40hours when I get back home from work?' But, even if true, I suspect that what actually is being said here is "People are only good at doing things that don't want to do for 40 hours a week" - if you're the sort of person whose happy to volunteer for ...


10

It doesn't recommend handling task dependencies, because if done properly it shouldn't be a problem. Why is that? Because a task that is dependent on an unfinished task shouldn't be in your Next Actions.


10

The problem you're struggling with is one of the core issues addressed by David Allen's Getting Things Done. Consider the to do list items go to bank and work on thesis. Assuming your banking task is fairly straightforward, this is a simple action. The second is a several-year endeavor. When most people look at a list like this their mind is drawn to the ...


10

Here's an example. Put a rat in a maze. Have a piece of chocolate at the exit of the maze. The rat will smell it and find a path to the chocolate. After repeating this a few times, the rat will learn the correct path and go there over and over again, faster each time. The rat will take some wrong turns and maybe get lost, but will eventually gain the skill ...


10

The answer here is really simple, if you ask me: If you feel that you can solve the problem or if you are in the right "mood" you must keep going because that state is hard then to replicate in the future. If you struggle with a problem and can't come up with a solution, the best thing, at least for me, is to sleep over it. The new day brings me new ways ...


9

So we start on the same page, next actions should be grouped by context, not project: @office versus European vacation. If you're having trouble remembering what project a given action is associated with (although I would think in most cases it would be obvious), then include the project title in the task description. For example: Europe vaca: email Mika ...


9

Being able to plan an entire month (without having to completely redo it every few days) would require a level of workday predictability that few are able to achieve. One sick day, project emergency, or even just an unscheduled meeting and the whole thing is shot. You can do a high-level review and pick some areas of focus. As part of my weekly review, I ...


8

I agree that the weekly review is a good place to tie things together but in many cases I can accomplish several steps of a project between each review, if I just remember them. What I have found useful for this is the Cascading Next Actions described here. Basically, it is just tacking on a "in order to…" or similar phrase to the end of your Next Action, ...


8

The problem is, I don't know how to manage and store these kinds of information. Should I just have folders with a little manual for each project type? Or sort my knowledge base based on some arbitrary categories and then browse through all the stuff? It sounds like you're trying to solve a couple of related problems: A method for creating a set of ...


8

A few ideas: Have you tried setting aggressive deadlines for the small projects to try to make it harder to get it done in time? Have you considered looking at your work from other angles than just getting tasks done and seeing what areas could be improved beyond just output and quality? Have you tried to change your perspective on a "trivial" project so ...


8

Different people work best in different ways. The Pomodoro Technique encourages frequent breaks. The bursts are traditionally a little longer than yours, but you can set whatever times you want on the timer. I think by walking around, so I take a lot of "breaks" too. When working on knowns, I think your span or work between breaks will increase. However, I ...


8

I think your issue is calling out for some type of breathing exercise or meditation. I have personally found a lot of relief from racing thoughts and stress through this method. The idea is to actively clear your mind, and allow it to focus on something other than work for a few minutes. I think you will find that an active approach to removing stress is ...


8

I am 44 weeks into my year with the goal of reading 52 books in the year. I am right on pace. The way I did it successfully was ever time I picked up a book I figured out a way to track the number of pages I needed to read in it per day to finish in 6 days (one day of wiggle room in case something weird happened). I can't tell you how great this is. Instead ...


7

Did you try Trello? It's free web-based (so u can access from anywhere) can easily collaborate with other project partners (if any)


7

You can try using the Pomodoro Technique: http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/ Do 25 minutes of work, then take a 5 minute break should boost productivity.


7

One of the best advice I read about trying to change habits is this: Do not try to break old habits. Form new ones.


6

How many actions to have in the Next Actions list? You are asking the wrong question here. Your question should be "What actions should be in the Next Actions actions list?" or even better: What are my next actions? Here, what you consider a next action plays a big role. A lot of GTD systems simply solve this by renaming the "Next Actions" list ...


6

Side projects do not need to be related to your primary vocation. I don't find side projects, they find me: I have a need, I see the need of others, I'm intrigued by an idea or research, I'm learning a new technology, ad infinitum/nauseum. Re: love life–build a two-person, gender-appropriate Sybian with biofeedback, sensors, and automation. Bam. ...


6

I don't want to comment too much on energy drinks or pills because I don't know what meds you're already on... HOWEVER, crunch time programmin...now that's something I know! For my experience, Get to the enviroment you work best in. (For me, the middle of the Library with lots of ppl around) Have a back of chips or something. (animal crackers are my ...


6

There is imo no simple answer to your question, basically you want to bundle all your knowledge and tasks in one software to sort it and gain inspiration from it. No software does this unfortunately without thinking out yourself a concept of a structure/category/tagging system oriented on your very personal needs. Too much categories/tags and it gets hard to ...


6

The first step is obviously to ensure you've identified the next actions for each project you're working on and put these next actions in to the correct context lists. After that, I think any attempt to establish--a priori--a method for selecting in which order you'll perform these actions is not only futile but likely counterproductive as well. Because a ...



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