Most task management systems have some sort of “someday” column for projects with no urgency. Stuff like “visit Japan” or “learn the guitar” usually find a home here. However, just like we do Spring cleaning we have to cull this list, lest the emotional weight of these uncompleted tasks wear on us. If we’re not careful, this list can be a graveyard of lofty and unachievable tasks. David Caolo at The Unclutterer offers a solution:
“Visit Japan” is not a task, it’s a project. Fortunately, my old job helped me get good at breaking complex behaviors (or in this case, projects) down into very small, observable, concrete actions. Perhaps “discuss life in Japan with uncle who used to live there” is a doable first step. Maybe “research seasonal weather in Japan” or “find a well-written book on Japanese customs or food” could be other first steps.
As a result the “someday” list becomes a “research” list. “Figure out the answers to these questions and get moving,” says Caolo. “Avoid the clutter and guilt of a Someday/Maybe list and start working toward these projects in the present.”