My @Home list has accumulated so many next actions that I'm no longer able to effectively evaluate it and make a decision on what to do. There's a high "yuck" factor attached to that list and I don't even want to look at it.
Ultimately, I realize this might cause my brain to stop entirely trusting my system. I started searching the posting board to get some ideas on how to shore up this weak point in my system and I found this thread. After I read some of the excellent ideas here I connected them with this piece of text I saved from an old posting. In fact, I think David Allen wrote this.
GTD: Projects, Someday/Maybes, NAs
Projects lists should only contain those things that you need to deliver on in the next 9 months. Deliverables beyond that belong on your 'Someday / Maybe' list and can be turned into Projects when they fall into the 9 month window. If you include a review of your Someday/Maybe list in your weekly review, you won't miss the projects and you can get them off your mind.
Next Actions Lists should only contain NA's that you plan to complete in the next 2-3 weeks. Note other actions that you think of during the weekly review in your project support material and turn it into a next action when needed.
During the weekly review, one is supposed to review the action lists for completed items and identify at least one next action for every project on the project list. I've taken the latter literally; I've created next action for every project on a context list or on my calendar. However, I think that I've activated too many projects around the house, and as a result my @Home list has too many items for me to use it effectively.
Admiral Karl Doenitz, commander of the German U-boat forces during WWII, stated in his officer's training manual that it was better to sink a few ships than to damage many. In essence, I've been doing just the opposite. I've only made tiny progress on many projects instead of focusing on a few and seeing them to completion. As a result, I don't get the wins I so desire, I don't even want to look at my @Home list, and sometimes I even hate my house because of all the stuck energy created by these open loops.
I've decided to modify the way I conduct my weekly review. As I review my action lists for completed items, I will decide whether or not I can or will commit to completing each item within the 2-3 week window. If the answer is "no", then I have several options to consider.
If the next action is not attached to a project, I will move it to Someday/Maybe. Until I feel comfortable that I can commit to doing it within 2-3 weeks, it does not move back to an action list.
If the next action is attached to an active project, I will note the next action in the project support material and remove it from the context list. However, that doesn't mean that I have to or want to move the project to Someday/Maybe. If I'm still committed to finishing it within a 9-month window, but need to shelve it for a few weeks to deal with more important things, I'll leave it on the Projects list. As long as I've identified the next action and recorded it in a place I'll look at least once a week, that should keep the project off my mind. I can always put it back on the appropriate list once I have the bandwidth to finishing that next action within 2-3 weeks.
As I review each item on the Projects list, I'll evaluate whether or not I'm truly committed to finishing it within the 9-month window (or if at all) and decide whether or not to jettison it or move it to Someday/Maybe.
I think that by doing this I can keep my @Home list down to a reasonable number of items, and keep me from committing to too many projects at a given time. I'll try this strategy for a month and post an update.
Have a safe and merry Christmas!