How I made a choice what to do today
Last week I understood I didn't feel satisfaction when checking off Next Actions from my @action list. I enjoy doing something only when I can concentrate on the most important project in the moment and work till some point where I can't go further (have to wait for any additional information or reached time limit). That way I see how my project moves forward, advances.
The day started. I had to make a choice. Though my @Action list is current and updated I always have a feeling that there're could be more important actions I can do for any given project. So I decided to go to the Projects list . I scaned it to find the most important project, opened it, opened the project support materials and started dumbing and planning along with doing. That was better then making a choice based on Next Actions and Contexts. I knew that I was doing the most important project and to move it forward I had to do all I could not looking at contexts (if I needed to change it I was easlily changing it), time, energy or priority.
When I came to some point in the project where I couldn't move further (waiting for) I had to choose the next project to act on. When I was already somewhere in the middle of my Projects list (for today it has 25 projects without SM'd projects) I started to forget which projects were already moved ahead today and which not :) I went to my @Actions lists to find Next Actions belonging to the Projects I was doing to find out the point where I stoped.
It's really useful to have Next Actions in place to move other projects in smaller steps also or have a bookmark for the most important projects I worked on. Though It's really difficult to control that each project has the most current bookmark (Next Action) parked on the @Action lists. But I really liked to work from my Projects list.
Do you work from your Projects list? Any advices?
List of upcoming deadlines
I've started doing something along similar lines, which is to maintain a short list of projects with deadlines upcoming (whether the deadline is externally imposed, or internally). I tend to have the same experience you describe with long next action / context lists, which is that its hard to pick a starting point and a direction, and at my worst (low energy, low mood, etc.), it can become an avoidance mechanism to pick a not-so-important action compared to something more pressing.