Replace Your Overwhelming To-Do List With A "Someday-Maybe-Later" List

To-do lists are supposed to be helpful but sometimes they’re just overwhelming. They can also be a source of anxiety when we fail to check something off. Life coach, Stacy S. Kim, Ph.D is suggesting that people switch to making a “someday-maybe-later” list instead. “Set aside or postpone tasks to help remove some of the immediate stressors so you can focus,” recommends Kim.

In David Allen’s book, “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” he compares these types of lists as a "parking lot," for all of the ideas and plans you have in your busy mind. Writing out tasks with a clear framework provides a sense of control. “It instills you with the power to prioritize, say no, delegate, and postpone,” Kim says.

  • You can create a “someday-maybe-later” list either on paper or with a digital outline tool.
  • Create overarching and non-overlapping categories in order to capture tasks in every area of your life… (professional, personal, people, possessions)
  • Create subcategories (work, side hustle, health, spiritual, family, friends, money, bills)
  • Use tags for each task such as #now, #next, #waiting, #weekend, #whenever to help you prioritize.
  • Review your tasks/goals once a week

Creating a someday-maybe-later list helps you focus on what you can do within your control. And if you can’t? Do it later with no pressure attached.


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