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Grey Area - Someday/Maybe vs. Next Actions

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  • Grey Area - Someday/Maybe vs. Next Actions

    Hi,

    I read GTD recently and I'm in the process of trying to implement it in my life (I have 5 jobs as well as freelance music work, and I'm planning for my wedding this summer!)

    In the course of my day I come up with all sorts of things I want to try -- check out such and such website, look into this organization, write a letter to so-and-so, etc.

    When I know I want to do these things fairly soon, I put them in my Next Actions lists. When I know I won't get around to these for a long time, but I want to capture the idea to review in my spare time, I put it in my Someday/Maybe list.

    But what about stuff in between? Things I want to keep fresh in my memory for when I have a chance, but aren't particularly necessary or urgent?

    -I don't want to clutter my Next Actions with every little thing that occurs to me, BUT
    -I don't want to put these things in Someday/Maybe where they'll get mixed in with things like "Buy an RV one day" and "Learn to Speak Hindi"

    Right now I have a "To Do Soonish" category set up, but I worry that this will turn into an excuse for procrastination.

    Any suggestions for how to deal with these types of ideas in GTD?

    Thanks,
    chris.

  • #2
    CallMeZoot wrote, "I don't want to put these things in Someday/Maybe where they'll get mixed in with things like "Buy an RV one day" and "Learn to Speak Hindi""

    Why not?

    Comment


    • #3
      Because my someday/maybe is more of a list of things I want to get around to in the distant future. Buying an RV is something I want to do when I retire. I'm 27 now. I put a lot of ideas in my Someday/Maybe list that I may not get around to for years (or ever). I just want them there so that, when I review them every once in a while, I might have the time/energy/resources to try one of them out.

      When it comes to things I'd like to check out in the near future (say, the next few weeks), I don't want to get them mixed in with such a big pile of Somedays. I want to keep them fresh for review so that they don't go "stale."

      But at the same time, I don't want to clutter my Next Actions with things that are not particularly important/urgent. They'll linger on the list too long, which I think will undermine the system.

      Any thoughts?

      Thanks,
      chris.

      Comment


      • #4
        I sort all future items by time frame: when is the earliest I might want/need to consider this item again? I do this electronically, by setting a future date and then using date filters to show only the current items, but you could also use a tickler system to do it with paper.

        I also sort things by level of commitment:

        Current: stuff I have committed to do in the next two weeks or so.

        Future NA: stuff I have committed to do but not until some future date. I use this for things like next month's assignment for a particular client, future vacation planning, future taxes, and so forth.

        Someday/Maybe: stuff I definitely want to consider, date filtered as above.

        Idea file: outside my GTD system. Things like ideas for future projects that I haven't even considered at the level of detail that my Someday list requires. "It would be really cool to visit Venice" is an idea file item. "Might I be able to schedule a trip to Venice for summer 2008?" is a Someday item. "1/1/2008 Call travel agent re: Venice reservations" is a Future NA.

        For your examples, "Buy an RV when I retire" would probably be an idea file item, though you could put it on a ten-year review Someday list. "Learn to speak Hindi" might need a more frequent review, or it might not, depending on why you want to learn the language.

        In my opinion, Next Actions would be the worst possible place for this kind of thing. Cluttering your current working list of commitments is far worse than cluttering your Someday list. Although, again, date filters can help keep either list clean.

        Hope this helps,

        Katherine
        Last edited by kewms; 04-23-2006, 09:40 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would recommend that you either use the someday/maybe list or alternatively place these items directly into your reference files.

          In any event you have the first piece done --- caputuring the thoughts. The second is your call, which ever way you go you will come across them during a review.

          Comment


          • #6
            I do use various someday/maybe-files, each one of them regarding one particular topic eg s/m-vacations, s/m-learning, s/m-household and so on.

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            • #7
              What about jotting down a quick few thoughts about whatever the idea is, and then slipping that piece of paper into your tickler file for a time in the next year (3, 6, or 9 months) to review it?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CallMeZoot
                In the course of my day I come up with all sorts of things I want to try -- check out such and such website, look into this organization, write a letter to so-and-so, etc.

                Any suggestions for how to deal with these types of ideas in GTD?
                If you have groups of similar items such as websites you'd like to check out, books to read, CDs you may be interested in, movies to rent, etc., you may want to set up a separate list for each type of item. That keeps them from cluttering up NAs or Someday/Maybe. Then the item on your NA or Someday/maybe or calendar is Browse websites from list, Rent movie from list, etc.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have seperated someday and maybe into different lists.

                  Maybe=kinda wish list

                  Someday=things I want/need to do but know I will not be dealing with them e.g. this week.

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