I listened to a Tim Ferriss podcast "Caging the Monkey Mind" recently. (I might have the title wron). In it Tim was interviewed at Google. He talked about how to get the "monkey mind" doubts and thoughts out of his head so he can get to real work.
Monkey mind thoughts as I understand it are the doubts and questions and worries you have that keep you from doing big things.
What Tim does is write them down and deal with them first thing in the morning.
I do some of that, and it usually works. But recently it seems like I have a whole zoo in my head. Not doubts or worries per se - just reminders of things left undone. And by things I mean full projects in some cases.
In this case I turn to the advice of David Allen - Getting Things Done.
A massive data collection effort:
Top down data collection (Start with life purpose and drill all the way down).
Bottom up data collection (Start with all open items in my life - even something like papers on my desk - and work up to life purpose).
The prior two items can be done simultaneously.
Once I'm sure I have it all (and I'll know, because my mind will be empty) I will put the key plans through the Ziglar goals methodology. Anything that makes the current cut will then get a full blown project plan.
The goal here is to not let current projects (which are fairly well mapped out) suffer, but to get everything else under control. That's why the timing for this goal is longer than one might think. I want to have it done by the start of 2017.