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I put almost everything into my Someday/Maybe. At least I know my interests and future projects are recorded somewhere for me to look at. It's a list of all the things that have captured my interest as something I may or may not want to do.

During my weekly review, I would seriously sit down and determine whether I really have the desire to do them or not. I'll determine the reward of having finished a particular project (acquiring a new language or some such). If I decided that the reward for doing a project is not worth it then I would just drop it or delete it from my Someday/Maybe folder.

During the Weekly Review, I would also look at the Someday/Maybe projects and determine at least one to three projects (the Big Rocks of the week) that I would like to focus on for the week. I would schedule my work week to get the next actions done for those particular projects.

As curt.clifton said, we only have so much time to do things. Heck, I'd like to learn eight different languages but I can't possibly do any of them well because I'll have too many committments or projects open. It's better to get laser focus and complete a project.

Put all of those non-paying projects into your Someday/Maybe folder. Tell your colleagues that you'll stew on it. Determine your future outcome and your reward. Is it really worth the effort to commit to those non-paying projects?

No sense in just adding to your task list when the payback isn't worth it. We can't be a people-pleaser all the time. I've learned to say "No" to many a project that I would consider not worth the time and effort. Just because someone asks "hmmm.... it might be nice if you could do this and that." But if those folks expect something for free, then I'd forget about it or at least discuss with them what I'd like in return.

We can easily overload our OmniFocus task list with projects from other people. Time is precious. Sometimes other people want you to do something for free. Other people should realize that they don't have the right to waste your time. Otherwise you're being taken advantage of. If the questioner is willing to commit to a project/proposal in the form of money or compensation, then I would seriously consider the proposal.

Of course, some projects are worth doing despite the lack of physical compensation. There are some things where I would not ask for compensation because it fulfills the spiritual area of responsibility (donating or do community service for the church). That's my reward - giving back to the community.

Negotiate with those folks now. If you are expecting future projects from them, it would be best to be upfront now about what you expect if you commit to a freebie project. Otherwise you'll be disappointed when all your effort and hard work results in nothing but more promises for future work.

Perhaps you already have a portfolio or references that you have built upon? Then you could show them your body of work and get some real proposals/contracts rather than "bait" to work on a project for free.

Last edited by wilsonng; 2009-04-04 at 03:20 PM..