Nourish your dreams regularly with attention


It’s one of the ironies of getting caught up in Getting Things Done: a lot of things, including your dreams, end up on your Someday/Maybe list. And that’s more than a shame; it’s a guaranteed way of slowly dying inside.

Putting your dreams on a shelf for the sake of productivity is like squeezing shut the tube that pipes air and sunshine down to you from your future. You don’t want to do that: in fact, David Allen doesn’t want you to do that.

Dreams, like potted flowers, need regular attention.

They need regular bits of your attention to keep that connection to you alive. The question is, what’s the best method for you to ensure your dreams get the attention they deserve?

Here’s four ways that work:

  • Schedule Dream Appointments in Outlook for Someday/Maybes. If the first appointment you should schedule is Weekly Reviews, the second is reviewing your Someday/Maybes for Next Steps you can now activate. A half hour every two weeks will give yourself permission to reconnect to the things that get you excited and keep those dreams healthily.
  • Use a private blog or online journal to have a conversation with your dreams. I really like Vox for this because you can decide post by post which posts are public, for friends, for family or just for you. Do you dream of walking down a fashion show runway? Do you see yourself racing around a NASCAR track? Grabbing a YouTube Video into your Vox private post is dirt easy and there are times when a video is worth a megabyte of words.
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  • Use a reminder service like Why not send yourself a reminder that it’s time to rotate the tires on your dreams by signing up with for free and then scheduling reminders to your future self.
  • Start a paper Journal. Don’t trust blog services, Web 2.0 services, let alone Outlook? Go low tech. Anything from a lowly lab book to a nice leather journal will work, but it has to feel special to you and live in a special – and secure – place in your home.

However you find a consistent, reliable, trusted system for regularly connecting with your dreams, do it. Your future self will thank you for it.

Bob Walsh writes, codes, podcasts and blogs about different aspects of the digital lifestyle at ToDoOrElse, MyMicroISV and Clear Blogging. His second book, Clear Blogging, will be out Feb. 12th.

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