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How do I leave the Maybe's as Maybe's?

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  • How do I leave the Maybe's as Maybe's?

    Things on "maybe" keep on bugging me

    The idea is to do a comprehensive collection and decide on what are next actions vs. maybe,
    I put some ideas in Maybe but my brain keep on bringing them to my attention.

    For example, I have been playing with the idea of getting a bread maker.
    Well, yes, maybe one day, I have other meal planning challenges to attend to first.
    A bread Maker will bring other tasks on their own that are not high return (look up recipes, buy raw ingredients test, etc etc.)

    I am trying to get myself to even cook 3 times a week, buying a bread maker is not a priority, I note it down and enter maybe, but my brain keeps on "reminding me". What is going on here?

    How do I quiet that voice?

    If it was just the bread maker, it would be ok, but that is just an example.
    Things that are clearly a maybe such as "take an art class", " look into Buddhism" and many more keep on filling my mind with anxiety.

    Any tips?

  • #2
    Perhaps your mind just needs time to learn to trust the system

    If you're just starting out, it's quite possible that your mind doesn't fully trust your system yet even though you may be doing all the right things. That's okay. My mind wouldn't let go of outcomes and actions in my system for several weeks when I first started. It was only after about four weeks of actively practicing the habits and consciously seeing the benefits that my mind started to trust the system adequately to delegate management of my commitments to it.

    But are you doing all of the right things? Are you...
    • Collecting *everything* outside of your head
    • Processing *all* of your inboxes to ZERO every 24-48 hours
    • Organizing reminders in a system that fits your needs and style and you enjoy using?
    • Reviewing your lists regularly and doing a weekly review?

    If you've answered "no" to any of these questions then your mind won't trust your system and it will still hold onto the job of managing your commitments.

    "Your mind will not let this stuff go until it knows it's being managed in a system that's better than it is." -DA

    If you are doing all of these things, just give it some time.

    Comment


    • #3
      In the general case, I think this reflects a fear on some subconscious level that things will disappear into the Maybe file and never see the light of day again.

      As you get used to seeing all your Maybes during every Weekly Review, that fear should subside.

      Or you could try putting it into your tickler file three months into the future. Then you know it'll come back to your attention.


      Cheers,
      Roger

      Comment


      • #4
        It makes perfect sense, I mean my mind not trusting the system YET

        Collecting *everything* outside of your head - YES!
        Processing *all* of your inboxes to ZERO every 24-48 hours NO, because I have not catched up the first time, I have 85 tasks, I found myself deleting many, I am organizing under the right project, assigning contexts, etc.
        Organizing reminders in a system that fits your needs and style and you enjoy using? Still working on this one
        Reviewing your lists regularly and doing a weekly review? YES

        No wander my brain is not relaxing yet, I still need my system in place.

        Thank you!!!

        Comment


        • #5
          or maybe you just really like the idea of getting a breadmaker

          ...or maybe you just really like the idea of getting a breadmaker, and therefore like thinking about it. In my experience, no amount of "writing it down" will let me stop thinking about something I just want to think about.

          Comment


          • #6
            If your mind keeps returning to something in your Someday/Maybe list, it's not really a Someday/Maybe item; it's Today/Now. That's a signal to move that item to your active Projects/Actions lists.

            Comment


            • #7
              Having just had fresh homemade bread for breakfast, I can sympathize with the part of your unconscious that just wants a breadmaker, darn it.

              But also with the more rational part of your brain that knows if you buy one now, it will just gather dust.

              I agree with those who've suggested that you just don't trust your system yet. Give it time.

              Katherine

              Comment


              • #8
                I have a repeating task that tells me to "look at pending projects list" once a week. This assures me that I will look at those things, and I won't forget them forever. Would that possibly help?

                (I know that the weekly review should assure that I see these anyway, but since I go through my current tasks more reliably than I complete a thorough weekly review, I guess I trust this method more.)

                Gardener

                Comment


                • #9
                  Move them to a Someday list

                  It helped when I moved some of these projects to Someday. Maybe means I have not decided on what to do with it yet so my brain keeps going back to them, thinking about them.

                  For that reason, I no longer have a Maybe list.

                  If I think I may want to do something but not sure, I put it in Someday. That tells my brain to stop thinking about it. Someday, I'll get to it.

                  Works for me.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Just to check something - you have breadmaker down in your separate Someday/Maybe list right? Separate from your other Projects and NAs?

                    Anyway, t definitely sounds like you don't quite trust your system yet - I had the same thing. If you remind yourself that anything that goes in your Someday/Maybe list will be caught by your weekly review it'll quieten your anxiety.

                    But....it does sound like you want a bread maker! Maybe you should start a Project to look into the feasibility of getting one with the goal of making a decision to buy or not...?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by petdr View Post
                      It helped when I moved some of these projects to Someday. Maybe means I have not decided on what to do with it yet so my brain keeps going back to them, thinking about them.

                      For that reason, I no longer have a Maybe list.

                      If I think I may want to do something but not sure, I put it in Someday. That tells my brain to stop thinking about it. Someday, I'll get to it.

                      Works for me.
                      Interesting.

                      Do you have a tickler? Does your brain do with the Tickler what it did with the Maybe list? Just curious.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by El_Stiff View Post
                        But....it does sound like you want a bread maker! Maybe you should start a Project to look into the feasibility of getting one with the goal of making a decision to buy or not...?
                        Also, by the nature of breadmakers, lots of people use them for stretches and then don't. You might mention your thoughts on it to someone and someone may offer to let you borrow one (when you're ready to acquire one).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by malisa View Post
                          Interesting.

                          Do you have a tickler? Does your brain do with the Tickler what it did with the Maybe list? Just curious.
                          I don't have a tickler in the 43-folders sense but I do make appointments on the calendar to add so-and-so to the NA list or move a Someday Project to the Active Project list. That way I don't constantly wonder if it's time to start a project etc. and repeatedly do the mental math to see if it would get done on time. I do review the Someday Projects regularly (not quite weekly yet) to see if any changes but don't obsess over it as I used to.

                          I use a combination of Life Balance, Essential PIM, and the native Palm Apps/Datebk so everything sync to my Treo and my USB key (portable EPIM).

                          EPIM allows me to attach documents to Notes and Tasks (To Do) so I use that for my support materials (in place of physical folders) --- scan or convert efax to .PDF and attach to Notes or Tasks as needed. These scans are only accessible when I'm using my portable EPIM but I would still see the Notes and Tasks on my Treo.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            you ARE allowed to think, even if it's not review time

                            hello,

                            I know this is an old discussion, but going through the forum topics I stumbled on it for the second time now, and had the same reaction as the first time... it even made me register so I can now reply to it

                            My first reaction was: why wouldn't you be thinking about the bread maker? Okay, it's in your someday/maybe, but it is still you who will have to make the decision whether to move it to become an actual project or ot. And it is not forbidden to think (dream?) abow your someday/maybe list outside the weekly review. How else are you supposed to be able to make a decision about it when the next review comes along? Some of the ideas on the someday/maybe list just need some time to become ripe inside your head...

                            Isn't one of the big ideas of GTD exactly that? That by putting everything into a trusted system, your mind is FREE to think about whatever you want and be more creative...

                            Myriam

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I agree!

                              Originally posted by Brent View Post
                              If your mind keeps returning to something in your Someday/Maybe list, it's not really a Someday/Maybe item; it's Today/Now. That's a signal to move that item to your active Projects/Actions lists.
                              I think this is your answer. And I also think that the weekly review should flush it out. This stuff is so simple it is ingenious.

                              Comment

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