In a prior post, we discussed the importance of reviewing your annual goals at mid-year to see whether you should stay the course or make corrections. In this article, we are going to talk about goals that are either (1) not fully formed or (2) not high enough of a priority to become a New Year’s Resolution or an entry on your to-do list.
There are always projects that lurk in the back of your mind and you think “I’ll do this someday…maybe.” You don’t need to start them now, nor do you want to forget about them altogether. So, what’s a dreamer to do?
Keep a Someday/Maybe list!
I learned about Someday/Maybe lists from productivity guru David Allen. Although I’m not one to recommend lots of different lists, there is a meaningful reason to keep your might-do projects separate from your got-to-do ones. But, how do you know when it’s a Someday/Maybe versus a To-Do now item?
A task or project belongs on a Someday/Maybe list when:
- It is important enough to be captured but not worthy of being added to your list of things to do
- It is something you could really see yourself spending time on at some future point
- You keep ruminating on the project and need to get it out of your head so you can focus on things you must do now
- Somebody advised you to do it, but you want to think about it for a while before taking action
- You heard about it at a conference and like the idea, but you cannot fit anything else on your plate right now
A task or project belongs on your To-Do list when:
- There are serious (often negative) ramifications of not doing it
- There is a deadline you must meet
- You have a clearly defined action you need to perform
- Other people are counting on you to do your part
- You have allocated time to do it now or in the near future
What are some methods of capturing and organizing Someday/Maybe projects?
Your Someday/Maybe list can be as simple as a piece of paper you carry around with you, to a Vision Board, or an Evernote Notebook. I keep mine in Microsoft’s OneNote program, but mainly because it came with Office when I purchased it. I’m all about using what you have when it makes sense.
You may find that, over time, you will collect articles and other supporting documents for your Someday/Maybe projects. Organize them by topic, preferably in electronic format. If you use Evernote or OneNote, you can paste the article in the same notebook with your Someday/Maybe list.
How to keep your Someday/Maybe list from becoming a No-Way/Never list…
This list that you are taking time to construct should not end up as any of the following:
- A well-organized inventory of all the things you have failed to do in life
- A black hole into which projects go and never return
- An overwhelming list of projects that you hate revisiting
The Someday/Maybe list should be joyful and exciting. If it makes you feel like dung, then you’re not doing it right.
Here are some tips for a dung-free Someday/Maybe list:
- Schedule time to review it monthly. Each month, add something to your To-Do list from the Someday/Maybe list.
- If none of the projects are getting done, force yourself to delete one entry every time you add another. You will have to prioritize.
- If you are completely overwhelmed, declare Someday/Maybe bankruptcy. Delete everything and start fresh. The important stuff will resurface.
Is “Schedule an initial assessment with Dr. Melissa” on your Someday/Maybe list? Why wait? Let’s do it now. The cost is mine.
Are you ready to finally achieve what you set out to do?
Read my eBook Set Goals…even if you’re not convinced you’ll achieve them.
Melissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.