I've just completed a thorough review of my lists and made some changes to the system that I'm really pleased with. I had 258 todo's, probably about half were someday maybes, so not all of them discrete next actions. I just didn't have the overview with all that going on.
The first thing I did was to clean out anything I decided not to track anymore. Then I gave myself a couple of days to crank through all the small things, like looking up stuff on the internet and little house projects. That cleared up 40%! Felt great!
Yesterday I listened to Kelly's canned webinar on Weekly Reviews. Some listener shared the idea of using a mindmap for someday maybes instead of having that as a category of todos. Kelly commented that she prefered having someday maybes separate to keep the actions steps lists lean. That made so much sense I did that last night. Now my todos are proper next actions, and no someday maybes at all. At the moment 74 of them, which is less than a 1/3 of the original list! (Of course the someday maybes didn't go away, but I don't have to be reminded of them when I don't want to.)
In an attempt to gain more clarity, I decided to borrow the idea of limiting work in progress from Lean, so I've been experimenting with how to manage that. I'm only looking at limiting projects, not at the lowest level of next actions. First I moved some projects to someday maybes (on my new mindmap) and kept only those that truly are current. Using post-its, I used a corner of my whiteboard and made space for one "creative" project, one "administrative" project, and three "ongoing" projects (projects that can't be done in a focused fashion, like "comfortable driving in the uk", which requires practising every now and then). There is space for projects that are ready to be started as soon as I've finished the ones "in progress", and there is space for projects that have been started but are now on hold, typically because they are waiting for a date (like trips). When I've completed any of the creative, administrative or ongoing projects, I can pull another one from either the ones on hold, or ready to be started. I expect life will happen and there will be times when I'll exceed the limits, but it's an improvement nevertheless.
So moved someday maybes off the todo-lists on to a mindmap, replaced projects list with a corner of my white-board with limited space for in-progress projects, and completed a lot of the backlog.
Don't know if this is of interest, but I'm feeling so good I had to tell someone
Now I'm going to go finish some more little ones.