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Is a someday/maybe list a backlog? Or a wish list? And are priorities really evil?

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  • Is a someday/maybe list a backlog? Or a wish list? And are priorities really evil?

    I imagine that we all have backlogs of work we would do if only we had time. So do you keep them in your someday/maybe list? To me the difference is the backlog SHOULD be done, the only constraint is time, but someday/maybe is more of an open thing with some more discretion involved as to whether you NEED to do it, or ever WILL do it.

    And also, priorities and GTD are still a little fuzzy for me. I get that preassigned priorities are not recommended, instead we should do constant, on-the-fly prioritization. But I don't think DA is saying that priorities are evil, right? They ARE a fact of life, right?

  • #2
    Someday Maybe is anything you want to track, but don't have a commitment to finish. Your only commitment to items on Someday Maybe is to review the choice on a regular basis in your Reviews. It's not a dumping ground for backlog, if you have a commitment to finishing that backlog. Could be projects you'd like to get to some day, but don't have the bandwidth, interest, or resources to do now.

    If you can do the free guest pass for GTD Connect, I did a whole Webinar on Someday Maybe you might want to listen to. It's one of my favorite topics and lists. Lots of good examples in that Webinar.

    But I don't think DA is saying that priorities are evil, right? They ARE a fact of life, right?
    Ha ha ha! No. Priorities are not evil. They are a very rich part of your GTD system too. In fact, a fabulous essay in his book Ready For Anything talks about the only real difference between current Projects and Someday Maybe is your priority about it. Now versus maybe. You either need new tires on your car or you don't. There is no in between.

    Good luck,
    Kelly

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    • #3
      Kelly,

      Someday Maybe is anything you want to track, but don't have a commitment to finish
      Perhaps this is something you can cover in the next coaches corner too?

      I have heard some people say that anything you cannot do in the next 1-2 weeks should go onto someday/maybe to keep your list clean and current. But if you have definite commitments and just don't have the bandwidth to get to it in this time - should these go onto your lists or your someday/maybe. I seem to have a lot of things like that on my lists that linger for weeks and weeks on end but are still commitments I need to get done once I have the time or bandwidth to do so. But I will admit that they can be draining to sometimes see them remaining there undone too.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Spalding View Post
        But I don't think DA is saying that priorities are evil, right? They ARE a fact of life, right?
        I saw DA speak a couple months ago. One of the biggest things that I came away with was that...no, priorities are not evil. But, you need to be willing to roll with the inevitable changes that will come along.

        He described how in the GTD/Lotus Notes software, one can drag actions to Today (or something like that). He said when it was being put together, his one caveat was that there needed to be one button that he could click and it would put everything back. No more today. Clean slate. No priorities.

        And while my system leaves A LOT to be desired (or my implementation of my system, to be exact), I have a someday/maybe list that's more 'pie-in-the-sky'. It's a separate document that I just look at during reviews, not necessarily every one though. But anything that I've defined an outcome for and that I'm committed to, I've made into a project. The main part of my system is OmniFocus. For things that I don't have time/bandwidth for at the present, I put them on hold or give them a future start date (unfortunately, I bounce back and forth and am not consistent with which I do...which I need to change). The SD/MB list is an OmniOutliner document.

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        • #5
          When vs If

          I tend to look at things as one of the following:

          1. When I have time.
          2. If I have time.

          When I have time are my committed projects. Some have a narrow window, others a much longer window. These are the things I have decided must be accomplished at some point. I usually keep my projects in groups, long and short term. All of the next actions for all of my projects are combined, but short term project next actions are tagged so I can see them separately when I need to.

          If I have time are things to look into. No commitment here. Once I decided to make any movement on these projects they get moved to the long term list.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tsalley View Post
            I tend to look at things as one of the following:

            1. When I have time.
            2. If I have time.
            Thanks for this. I'm stealin' it! Very useful.

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