What's On Your "Stop Doing" List?
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What's On Your "Someday" List and How Long Has it Been Lingering There?

 

Found an interesting article on Fast Company this morning about how the team at productivity app Any.do analyzed what happened with people's "Someday" tasks on their To Do lists:

Regardless of the task Any.do discovered that if a “Someday” task hadn’t been moved up to a Today, Tomorrow, or Upcoming list within six weeks, the probability of it ever happening dropped off drastically.

What’s so special about six weeks? Says Perchik:

"We think six weeks is the window where people are the most enthusiastic about doing something. The sense of novelty and excitement are great catalysts for getting things done. Planning a trip or fixing something around the house might be projects you feel up to today, but after six weeks they may have lost their original luster."

That realization can provide you with valuable insight. “Once the initial inspiration has had a chance to wear off, you’re left with your true intentions and that can be a very powerful piece of information,” says Perchik. In other words, if you put “take skiing lessons” on your Someday list, and six weeks later you still haven’t researched the lessons (much less signed up for them), that’s a good sign that skiing isn’t a big priority in your life right now.

All of us have that "someday" list of projects or tasks we know we want to do. But what can be disturbing is to find that there are many items that can languish there for a good long time. Putting off a trip to Bali is one thing, but having "find a better job" on indefinite Someday status will be problematic. 

I think it's worth keeping track of your Someday goals and looking at how long they stay on the list. If you don't do anything about them for 6 weeks or more, then maybe it's time to take a closer look at why that is. Are they really not priorities for you or is there something deeper going on? 

For me, I've found, that many items that stay in the Someday category remain there because of my own fear of doing them. I'm challenged and inspired by them, but at the same time, moving into actual action can scare the hell out of me. My recent decision to "do something" with my art is an example of the kind of risky business that I'm talking about here. 

I've talked to other people who have "Someday" goals to start a business, learn something new or go on a retreat. They may say that it doesn't fit with their priorities right now, but if you dig deeper, these tasks are in Someday mode because of the fear. 

I get it. I really do. It's hard to take the risks. But we need to at least be honest with ourselves about why we keep putting things in the "Someday" category so that we can start to deal with what is blocking us from doing more with something we really want. 

Today, take a look at those goals you find yourself talking about doing "someday." Do they stay on that list because they really don't fit into your life right now--or because your own fears are holding you back from moving them into action?  

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