“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ~Confucius
Search for hidden clutter in my life
I’ve been on a mission over the past few months. I’ve been looking at things I normally don’t look at very closely, and seeing if I can spot hidden clutter. One thing that struck me as I did my weekly review was that I add lots of things to my Someday/Maybe list, but I can’t remember the last time I actually went through it and purged.
For those of you not familiar with David Allen’s Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (aff), the Someday/Maybe list is the place where you put stuff you will or might get to sometime in the future. It gets things out of our brains, and into the system, where it is reviewed.
It’s the last part I forgot to do…review the somedays.
Looking at my someday/maybe
As I write this article, there are 434 items in my Someday/Maybe list. I put things in here pretty much every week. I use the criteria of if I know I will want to do it, I categorize them as Someday. If I know roughly when I want to do them, I put in a start date (see the ebook I wrote for details on the specifics). If I’m not sure, I categorize it as a Maybe. Both types of items get put under the top level Someday category.
The Need to Prune
Obviously, having 434 items in this list, and growing it every week, is not a good system. Things going in but never coming out is going to only lead to a massive pile of unusable text. Even sub-categorized as they are, I really need to sit down and assess each item.
The trouble is that I don’t necessarily truly consider if I want to put the time and energy into something, and so it goes on the list, even if it is just a passing whim. I need to do more thinking up front to slim down the list, but also to review it more often.
Optimum review time
How often is enough to review this sinkhole of tasks? I am thinking once a month to start, and perhaps less frequently once I get it paired down.
I also think it is going to take multiple sessions to pare it down as well. There is just too much to deal with in there right now for me to give the energy and thought to it in one sitting.
Take a look at your Someday/Maybe. Is it cluttered?