Questions related to the GTD approach, including best practices and common tools
People tend to both over-commit and to be inefficient. Few people know exactly how much work they actually have, and therefore must take everything on that they think about and that others ask them to do. Their integrity forces them to agree to take things on because, not being real clear how many projects they already have on their plate, some part of them thinks they actually MIGHT be able to do it. And most people are inefficient because they don’t force themselves to decide what things mean and what they are actually going to do about them when they first show up.
Rigorously capture, clarify, and track every commitment you make–little or big, urgent or not urgent, personal or professional–in a trusted system (not your head). Make a clear distinction between the projects you are actually committed to finish, as soon as you can, and the ones that should be moved to a Someday Maybe list. Review and update your active projects list regularly, to mature your intuitive ability to know what your limits really are.