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Evaluating overripe Someday/Maybes

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  • Evaluating overripe Someday/Maybes

    Many of the items on my Someday/Maybe list have been there perhaps since before Moby Dick was a guppy, probably since before some of you were born, and certainly since before DA developed the designation and concept of Someday/Maybe.

    In reviewing them, I've developed a tentative list of questions to ask myself as I decide whether to keep each item on the list or throw it overboard and let it sink out of sight forever.

    1. When I think back to the time when this first occurred to me, do I still experience any of the buzz that accompanied that early inspiration?

    2. Buzz or no buzz, does this project still seem interesting, desirable, or necessary for any reason?

    3. What are my available time and resources for accomplishing this project?

    4. Where does this project rank in desirability, time, and resources in relation to all other projects, both alive and Someday/Maybe?

    5. Thinking ahead and imagining that I have already discarded this project forever, do I feel regret or a sense of relief?

    Comments and additions are welcome. One or two of you (at least!) must surely have S/M lists like mine.

  • #2
    Hi Owl
    Love your quote analogy
    Originally posted by Day Owl View Post
    Many of the items on my Someday/Maybe list have before Moby Dick was a guppy
    My list used to have stuff on it that was there before Adam was in shorts !

    I like your list of tentative questions they are all good GtD things to ask and I cant think of anything else I would be asking myself.

    The killer for me and for you I suspect is number 5 how am I going to feel once I have let this thing go. I could talk about the Buddhist concept of attachment but you can Google for that if you feel moved to do so [or you could add it to Someday/Maybe *removes tongue from cheek*].

    I get the feeling that you will get a true sense of whether this thing needs to be on your list after you get an answer to Question #1, reconnecting with that first emotion.



    • #3
      Great list. I will use it!


      • #4
        Guilty as charged!

        Raises hand....

        I seem to feel that I need to continue the S/M list of the person that I was 5-20 years ago. (as well as the person that I am now). I think I DO need to google the Buddist concept of attachment!! Although I have been aware of this tendency for a few years, and awareness has helped some, it is very difficult to shake. I think I feel that if I give up on the things I used to do/want, that will somehow invalidate who I was. Maybe that it will mean I have failed. Even though rationally I do not believe that.

        This causes me to also keep physical objects that I do not use. At one point I tried to think of these things/responsibilities as from another person who does not live here any more and give myself permission to let them go. I try to see myself for exactly who I am TODAY, and see that this person I am today deserves to live in this house and this life without trying to work around a person from 20 years ago. (Do I REALLY think that "she" is going to come back and want all her stuff????!!!) That catch is that that person from 20 years ago sometimes seems "better" because everything was potential then. Everything was possible. Ouch...see, that is what I really think. But it is NOT TRUE. ANYTHING may be possible, but never EVERYTHING. This is what I have not learned yet.

        I am hoping that as I implement GTD, it will help bring these holdovers into the light and let me let them go. At least if these projects are written down in your S/M list, you can deal with them a little more objectively than if they are in your head only. Oh, sooooooo mannnny open loops. Surely you have been able to get rid of many just by recognizing them?

        Your list is wonderful!! Although...if your S/M list still has many old things on it, would it be correct that your list is not working as well as you would like? Are you an oldest child? That is also part of my problem....I am supposed to take care of everybody else. It would be wrong to just let go of my responsibilities....sigh! Again, at least I have come to some awareness of this.

        6. Is this project really mine, or is it on my list to please someone else? (Either another person, or a past me?)

        Thank you so much!


        • #5
          Good list, thank you! I'd break it down like this:

          o Do I still think I'll want to act on it someday? If not, toss it.
          o If I remove it from my life, will it still be on my mind? If so, keep it.
          o Am I ready to act on it now (have resources/time/energy become available)? If so, create an action and move to Projects (if > 1 step).
          o Otherwise, keep it for the next review.


          • #6
            Good question - maybe two S/M lists?

            I always feel some sort of twinge when I delete things off the S/M list unless they really just don't apply anymore (I sold the car they related to or something). Most of them are fun self-improvement types of things, like Learn to Surf. It feels like you're letting go of a dream or giving up or getting old or something to delete items like that.

            Somebody on this board in the past mentioned that they have multiple S/M lists, the purpose of which is to cut down on the overhead of reviewing some items overly often, but avoid losing things or even just feeling like they are being lost.

            I'm thinking of having a S/M List, and then a S/M Archives List, like regular and long term parking. (Maybe I'll call it Moby Dick Baby Pictures or something - I'm sure somebody on here can think of some funny names).

            The real S/M list would get reviewed at each weekly review. Things that had gotten old and stale enough that I just blip over them every week would get shuttled out to the long term parking lot of the Archive list. The Archive would get reviewed once a year or whenever I felt like it or maybe even never, unless I wanted to take a trip down memory lane or troll for ideas or something.

            Anybody do this? Maybe this could help the OP.


            • #7
              How about calling the S/M archive list the "Maybe Not" list.


              • #8
                Thanks everyone for your very helpful responses.

                @witna: Yes, attachment vs. nonattachment is a big issue here.

                @darla: Glad you find this useful!

                @elaine: Yes, continuing the list from an earlier self is definitely a big factor. (And no, I'm not the oldest, but the youngest. Go figure.) I like your No. 6 -- Is this project really mine?

                @cornell: Very good summary; you have covered my points more succinctly.

                @taxgeek: Two lists sounds practical. I'll try it.

                @barry: Maybe Not! That's brilliant!


                • #9
                  How about calling the S/M archive list the "dreams" list.



                  • #10
                    Oh, I LOVE the idea of a Someday/Maybe archive list! --For things I know I'm never going to get around to doing, but that I'm not ready to let go of the idea of. A sort of "Futures Past" or "Futures that Never Were" list. (Maybe "Alternate Realities"? Or "Parallel Universes" I could have entered but didn't?)

                    Or maybe I just need more coffee

                    Just added an NA: Split Someday/Maybe's into the two groups: "Pasts of the Future" and "Futures of the Past".


                    • #11
                      My mental tag for my someday/maybe list ranges from my “later” list, to my “what I would do if I were rich and didn’t have to go to work” list to my “here lies the person I wanted to be but it looks like I never will be” list!

                      All depends on my energy levels at the time of looking at it!

                      (At my most cynical I feel that the someday/maybe list is where stuff for me goes; and the rest of it: next actions, active projects, hard landscape etc is everybody else’s piece of me!).