I got a great question today about why there is a “Never” list in Sooner Or Later, rather than “Someday”.
Sooner Or Later is built around the philosophy that, in order to have peace of mind, you must confront and handle each and every thing there is for you to do in life. If you “leave things hanging”, it causes you stress.
One of the ways that you can handle something that comes up in your life is to decide that, perhaps even despite the fact that you would like to do it, the item will realistically never become a high enough priority in your life to accomplish it.
That item goes into your “Never” list.
Often, things start out in my “Later” list, but after they’ve been there for a long time, I finally make the decision that the item will realistically never be a priority in my life, and so I move it to “Never”.
I could just delete the item, but that doesn’t make me feel like I’ve confronted the issue, but rather that I’m avoiding it. When I say “Never”, I feel like I’ve explicitly and consciously made an informed decision about the item and that gives me peace of mind about it.
Remember, Sooner Or Later is not just about having a handy place to store your tasks. It’s about helping you achieve peace of mind.
Now, since an item in your “Never” list is still there for you to see an act on, you could argue that it would be more appropriate to name it “Someday”.
However, “Someday” implies that you haven’t fully confronted the reality that you will never accomplish the item.
It is still “left hanging”, which can cause stress, since that nagging feeling that you have more to do hasn’t been released from the back of your mind.
In order to release that item from your mind, you need to positively handle it by confronting it and making a firm decision about it.
“Never” indicates a firm decision to yourself that, should the item never be accomplished, you will have peace of mind about it.
If you cannot make the “Never” decision, then you need to either make the item a priority and accomplish it (move it to your “Soon” list), or, if you really don’t want to see it every day in your “Later” list, another option is to schedule it for a later date. Then you can have confidence that you will see the item in your “Soon” list on that date and handle it then, perhaps with more data to make a decision.
Since the “Never” items are not deleted, you can still review them should you ever feel highly motivated and are looking for some “stretch” goals to accomplish. This possibility can also give you some peace of mind over simply deleting an item.
But, again, “Never” implies that in the almost certain event that this will never happen, you will still have peace of mind knowing that you have made the informed decision that it is ok to never accomplish this item.
Whereas, “Someday” implies that the item still needs to be accomplished, and that you’re putting it off for an indeterminate amount of time. In short, you’re trying to hide it from yourself, rather than confronting it. This is not a healthy choice, and it results in unnecessary stress in your life.
When making a decision to “Never” do something, it also helps to have a list of personal goals, against which you can measure the item.
Does the item align with your personal goals in life? If not, it’s a very good candidate for the “Never” list.
So, make the healthy choice! Confront the things you have to do and handle in life and make concrete decisions about them!
If you don’t have items in your “Never” list, you’re probably not being realistic about the things you can accomplish in life, and you’re likely wasting time doing or worrying about things that are not moving you toward your goals.
The reality of time constraints means that you simply cannot do everything in life that you would like, so use your “Never” list and experience the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you’re spending your time wisely doing the things that really matter to you!