How do you deal with long list of someday/maybe items and how long do you keep them?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by alvin90, Nov 9, 2016.

  1. alvin90

    alvin90 Registered

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    I have close to 600 someday/maybe items accumulated over 3 years... It's like a black hole I don't want to face... I can't bear to delete them, what should I do? It is particularly a problem for some perfectionists and OCD people :sad:
     
  2. FrancescoPlli

    FrancescoPlli Registered

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    Hi alvin, someday/maybe list should be reviewed regularly. Ask yourself if you are commetted to all those projects and delete what you don't need anymore. Anyway you could try to split the list to relief yourself from the overwelming feeling. For areas of focus maybe.
     
  3. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    My Someday/Maybe list is also huge, some have been there for 20+ years, some are new. I was keeping lists of things I thought I might do or that I would do but not now for years before I learned about GTD, As long as I have them organized I don't mind keeping them for however long I want to. I only delete them when I am sure I don't want to keep them any longer.
     
  4. rachelp

    rachelp Registered

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    In the webinar today, they were saying there's no reason you can't have more than one someday/maybe list. Could you put them in decade or half-decade folders? I agree with Francesco too that maybe they are areas of interest. In going through mine today, I had "Read more Shakespeare" - this is really just an interest in Shakespearean plays and I can think of ways to do that now (like listen to Chop Bard podcast on drives).
     
  5. acc.mcpherson

    acc.mcpherson Registered

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    My list is shorter ~ 300 items and I quickly review them on a quarterly basis to make sure there isn't something in there I might need. It used to be much longer as I too couldn't face deleting them because I may want to retrieve them. I just marked them cancelled and now they are archived and not deleted.
     
  6. trmikie

    trmikie Registered

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    To me someday/maybe means I have a thought so I put in the bucket to deal with later. Sometimes much later, or not at all. Might be learning to fly, reading a specific book, can be anything. Definitely not something I get worked up over. I believe it is the premise of someday/maybe to get it off your head and put in a trusted place. I have maybe 100 or so on my list. I go over it every 3-6 months or when I think of it
     
  7. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    The question of when and how to weed your lists is ultimately a personal one, although it's nice to share approaches. Multiple someday/maybe lists are helpful. Sorting lists in various ways can also be helpful in identifying candidates for deletion. Sometimes I look at something on a list and say to myself "I'm never going to do that" and delete the little so-and-so right on the spot. It is surprisingly satisfying.
     
  8. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    If I were in your position, I would declare someday/maybe bankruptcy, put the whole list aside, and start with an empty list. It's still there, so later you can decide what to do with it--delete it, go through it ten items a day, divide it into various other lists, whatever.

    I keep my someday/maybe in control with the "divide it into various other lists" strategy. Sewing projects to try, garden projects to try, perfumes to try, blog topics to blog. That's all of course my personal life--at work, it's backlogs for my projects--feature request backlogs, technical debt backlogs, documentation debt backlogs, and so on.

    I realize that perfectionism makes all of this harder. I'm reasonably comfortable having the thought, "What if something in the backlog suddenly turns important and I don't recognize it because I don't go through my backlogs every week?" and then having the thought, "Meh. Too bad." Perfectionism makes that harder. So fighting the perfectionism is likely to also be necessary.
     
  9. alvin90

    alvin90 Registered

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    Thanks everyone! After taking in all your advices, I went through every single Items on someday/maybe list. I placed some Items I always wanted to do on 1-2 Goals, deleted unnecessary ones and shifted the list to reference folder for future reference. I'm starting my someday/maybe list from scratch. I feel so satisfying!
     
  10. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    I find this forum very inspiring too and I write articles with my thoughts about the topics here: https://biznesbezstresu.pl/

    Unfortunately in Polish. ;-)
     
  11. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    My tactic hasn't changed much from my earlier response but I did refine my external someday maybe lists a bit by splitting them out even finer so each one is easy to read quickly. Books To Read, which was huge, became Books To Read - Science Fiction, Books To Read - Mysteries, Books To Read - Travel, Books To Read Non-Fiction and so on. Since I try to only have one or 2 books I am currently reading in each category it makes it a lot easier to ignore the lists when I am not ready to start a new book in that category. Say I finish my latest SF novel. I can easily look at the SF list and pick one to start reading and ignore the books on the other lists. I also created a bucket list, which for me is the wild, blue sky items that are very nebulous and may never really get done. They are dreams that I am not yet committed to actually pursuing. Keeping them out of the rest of the lists with dreams and plans that I really do want to do someday works for me.

    I tried sorting by likelihood of doing them within a certain timeframe, the someday, maybe and soon type lists but I found that hard to review. I prefer seeing my someday/maybe items by areas of focus or context. So I have someday lists for the farm, the guest house, the main house, the sheep flock and so on.

    For me the freedom to have someday/maybe contain every thought is really nice.
     
  12. PeterW

    PeterW Registered

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    It might be best if you post your thoughts here, Ken. Posting a link to your article on another site doesn't make for a good reading and conversation here.
     
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  13. treelike

    treelike Registered

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    In your article you suggest splitting SDMB into three lists Someday, Maybe and Soon. Splitting into Someday and Maybe I don't have a problem with but, in my opinion, the things you've put on your "Soon" list are clearly Projects.
     
  14. Cpu_Modern

    Cpu_Modern Registered

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    I think multiple someday/maybe departments make sense, because groups of them share the same prerequisites. That wants to say, you don't have to look at each single item, if the required prerequisite is not there either way.

    So for example, let's just say you are out of pocket money to spend on music. Now you don't have to look at each item of your "buy a music album" sub-list, because no way it is going to happen.

    Along that line, updating the list is well done when a given sub-group was touched upon in some way. You just booked this year's vacation, good place to update your "SdMb: cool travel destination" sub-group. Because now it's hot.
     
  15. treelike

    treelike Registered

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    You could borrow money, or sell your pushbike ;)

    My personal preference is to have just the SDMB list, spend a few seconds on each item during the review and not worry too much if I miss a review every other week. For me, the nature of SDMB is too unpredictable to attain benefit from any more structure to it.
     

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