Unfinished Projects: An Unexpected Energy Drain

March 1, 2010

I was reading http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2010/02/finish-the-projects-youve-started-or-call-an-end-to-them.html about unfinished projects.

I realized that a source of clutter in my apartment, and a significant drain on my energy, was the uncomfortable presence of unfinished projects.

This is a classic example of things that sound so simply when you read them, but until you read them you don’t really think about it. 

The first time I read Getting Things Done, I had a similar realization. While I understood the concept behind the mind dump, I really didn’t think it’d bring about all of the things promised in the book: increased creativity! increased focus!  increased energy! 

So, I did the mind dump and it was true. I DID have increased creativity and focus, but most surprising was I really did have more energy. 

I went a back to my mind dump a few days later and really examined it. At least half of the things on the list we’re half done projects in varying states of completion. I love projects. I live for projects. And I looked at that list and did something completely out of character for me-I picked gave myself a set number of projects to allow myself and crossed eliminated any beyond the number and vowed not to take on any unless the project wouldn’t put me over that number.

Did it alleviate me of all unfinished projects? Nope. Did it stop me from keeping some projects unfinished? Nope. Did it help me focus and actually complete some projects, especially when I had an idea for a new project that I really, really wanted to start? Absolutely. 

I’m taking it slow, so my project number is most certainly higher than it should be, but it’s already significantly helped my productivity and overall energy levels and mental well-being. As I get used to having a set number and accomplish more projects, I’m actually looking forward to dropping the number lower and lower until I get to my Ultimate Goal of only three projects open at once. 

It really is amazing how much the things you don’t think you’re thinking about actually really do affect you. 

Posted via web from GTD with ADHD


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