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Someday/Maybe and Goals

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  • Someday/Maybe and Goals

    I think I've discovered a serious leak in my system in differentiating between Someday/Maybe projects and goals. I've noticed that things that I'd like to commit to that have a larger scale are showing up in my Someday/Maybe list rather than my goals and focus area lists. There they sit, festering, until I just want to toss out the whole project altogether. I think that's part of why my system hasn't been as effective as it should be. Taking something like "Learn Spanish" might not be a Someday/Maybe, but might in fact be a goal if you're considering doing it, but don't know where to start.

    Just some food for thought.

  • #2
    I too have this problem because most of my Someday/Maybe projects are more Someday than Maybe.

    I haven't yet found a good solution to this yet but for now, I have a DECIDE & PLAN category. Basically every so often I will randomly (or at least I try to make it random) select several Someday/Maybe projects and move them to DECIDE & PLAN. There, I make a note of 2 things, 1) the number of times it's been moved to DECIDE & PLAN and 2) The date it was moved.

    And basically it works like this. In DECIDE & PLAN I have ONE week to figure out what I want to do. If after that one week is up and I haven't thought of anything, then I will put it back into Someday/Maybe.

    Now here's the catch, if I moved the project to DECIDE & PLAN more than 3 times, then I will delete the project completely! I know for some people that's horrible, but I really dislike clutter and I guess I just feel that after 3 times (1 week each time) that if I can't think of what to do, then it's not really that important. Maybe sometime in the future if I think of that project again I may be more ready to do it. But for now, having this HUGE long list for Someday/Maybe makes me feel tired.

    Oh and on a side note, remember that a project should typically be a one time event. If it's something that you are repeatedly doing (i.e. buying batteries) then you should actually create a "list of procedures" and a routine that you follow instead of planning it out every time.


    • #3
      Every project should have a next action. So, the 'learn spanish' project should have a next action 'think about whether I am really committed to this,' for example. A project that sits with no next action should be detected at a weekly review and either 1) decide a next action or 2) move it to a goal list.


      • #4
        The weekly review process is desined to handle this. Once a week, look at everything on the someday/maybe list. Things on that list are items that you are not comitting yourself to working on now. If you see one that you want to start on (such as learning Spanish), simply move it the Projects list and decide on the next action ("Check out library book on Spanish" on the @Errands list, "Joe-Ask for recommendation on Spanish teacher" on the @Calls list, etc.)

        A critical part of this model is doing the weekly review, and during that weekly reveiew making the decisions on the next action(s) for each item on the Projects list.


        • #5
          One way I think about it...

          If I don't have a next action, it's someday maybe. If I don't have enough money, someday maybe. If I don't have enough time, someday maybe. If it's the wrong season, someday maybe. If I don't think that within now and, say, the next six months I am going to be able to even CONSIDER creating an action on it, it's someday maybe. Now, I check that someday maybe list every week...and I do move them back and forth, between projects and someday maybe. It's just that I am "deciding" not to decide when I keep it on the someday maybe list. Does that make sense?

          If I decide to move on something from that list...I just ask myself:

          "What's an easy to start, easy to visualize complete, physical next action?"

          That answer, then, goes on one of my action lists.


          • #6
            Jason writes: If I don't have enough money, someday maybe.

            I actually have a category named @Waiting For Money, in which are tucked a number of deferred maintenance items (eg, "get major service on truck"). That way when the next big check arrives, I have a category to consult to help me make it go away most effectively.