View Full Version : Never-ending Project
06-17-2004, 06:35 AM
I am looking for a way to break down a couple of never-ending projects. Here is my example...
I coordinate several fundraising projects at the school which amounts to collecting items (ink cartridges, Box Tops for Education, Campbell's Soup Labels, etc.) and sending them off for cash or credit. These are all very successful programs, but they repeat constantly. As soon as I mail off a shipment we start collecting again. It's like a never-ending project. I want it on my projects list to be reminded to send home flyers, wait for checks or mail packages, but some times I get sick of seeing the project there! How do I deal with this? I want closure to each cycle. Any ideas? :roll:
06-17-2004, 07:19 AM
I assume that these never ending projects repeat on some kind of cycle, so why not just attach a date to the end of each project? You'll have to enter a new project ( or just change the date ) when a cycle ends, but you'll now have a beginning and an end to the project.
06-17-2004, 07:53 AM
I have similar circumstances with maintenance of certain areas in my workplace. I created a @ongoing in my projects list. I list the ongoing/maintenance type projects there and then list the actions in the notes section.
Another solution is to just keep a checklist of these types of projects in a separate file that holds all your checklists (digital or paper)
06-17-2004, 05:38 PM
I second the checklist idea with one caveat--mae your checklist a comprehensive one that handles all of your repeating tasks for the entire school year.
Here is how I have handled those kinds of things (having been in education for 22 years). Organize your list by month. How often do you want to send home those flyers? If it's 3 times a year, enter a task on your list for September, November, and February (for example) that says, "Duplicate Campbell Soup flyers." How often do you need to check to container to see if you have collected enough to make it worth your while to send them off? If once a month is enough, make an entry on your lits for each month that says, "Check Campbell Soup container." When you DO send the stuff off, I would enter that as a waiting for.
Your July list will have all of the tasks you perform each year to get school started (formulating an idea for your bulletin board, revising and duplicating your "welcome to my class" letter for parents, etc.) Your September list may include a reminder to reserve a bus for the field trip you take to the museum each March.
Not having to rethink all of those repaeting tasks was such a time and stress saver for me as a teacher and now as a principal!
06-21-2004, 12:43 PM
I think I felt the same need that you do. My projects naturally divided themselves into two groups: those that can be completed and those that can't. The "2004 income taxes" project I can complete. Once I get my refund check, I'm done. For the "Chores" project, though, even if I finish the last action for that project (ha!) I still don't want to remove that project from my list, because tomorrow I'll probably have six more next actions for it. This was complicating my weekly review step where I confirm that all projects have one next action. I would have to handle projects like "Chores" as special cases. Also, it was a drag seeing uncompletable projects like "Chores" in my projects list.
My solution was to put projects into two lists: "Projects" and "Perpetual". My "Projects" projects are the ones I can complete. My "Perpetual" projects, on the other hand, are the ones that will require attention indefinitely. During my weekly review, I confirm that all my "Projects" projects have at least one next action. I don't do that for my "Perpetual" projects, but I do review them to see whether any of them would like a next action or two.
With my "Perpetual" projects broken out like this, I set my own expectations as to what I can and can't complete, and it helps me motivate myself.
07-01-2004, 12:36 PM
I've had the same issues with recurring/repeating/perpetual/routine things... :)
I've tried every different technique to attempt to manage them: DB5 with all different types of entries, ToDo items with dates or in different categories, memos, flat Date Book items... nothing quite satisfied me, but I couldn't until just recently figure out what thought had to change in order to be satisfied with _some_ idea.
It took realizing that I know very well what sort of routine things I want to accomplish; I just don't want lots of fine-grained reminders cluttering the one-time-only parts of my system (DateBook, ToDos).
I now have a MemoPad category for "Win Lists" (a little motivational trick, too). Each group of ticklers is in its own memo, which I can Find by keyword pretty quickly. Whenever I realize I want to focus on a particular routine, up comes the memo, and I see all the related things. Whatever I choose to accomplish is a Win For Me :)
I have one repeats-every-day untimed no alarm DateBook entry that reminds me to look at the list of Win Lists, and see if anything sounds good. Now I no longer go crazy about forcing myself to schedule all the housecleaning / car work / yard work / etc. ... I rely on the lists to fill in the less-frequent reminders, and a well-honed general sense of what needs doing.
Whew! Much less stress, much less clutter in the system, less PDA pecking-and-tapping to irk my spouse :)