It’s actually a year-round idea, but the holidays seem a good time to start it off. I know I’m difficult to buy presents for, because I already have more Stuff than I want. I also have a long list of Projects that I’ve been Meaning To Get To. And lots of friends that I like spending time with, but don’t always get around to visiting. Stir all those together, and I came up with this: I’d like to exchange time with my friends this year, not presents.
Hence, a Project Exchange! Here’s how I think it might work: I post a list of Projects that I’d like to complete. Some of them might require tools or skills that I don’t have. If they have a deadline, I’d post that too (e.g. Project: Put Up Christmas Lights. Need: Ladder. Do By: 12/24/2006) My friends can offer to assist with the activities that sound appealing to them. Having someone to help will increase the chances of these long-dormant projects actually happening. When I’m going to work on a Project, I’ll post in advance, so anyone who is interested/willing to join in is able to do so.
But it’s not All About Me! This idea gets even better when my friends post their Project Lists, too. Then it gets to be an actual Exchange. I don’t think it has to be a rigid quid pro quo, nor have rules about ratios for Helping to Being Helped. Nobody has to volunteer to do anything they’re not interested in doing, nor commit to more than they’re comfortable with. The purpose is to support each other in getting things done and spending more time together while doing them.
December tends to be a rather busy month for everyone, and I’m not suggesting we all cram a bunch of work on the Things-To-Do Backlog on top of the Holiday Frenzy. Even if I only can devote part of one weekend afternoon each month to Project Exchange Activities, I’ll be making progress through the year (whether on my projects or helping friends), and getting social time that otherwise might not happen.
So, what do you think? Any Observations? Suggestions? Long Lists of Reasons While It Will Never Work and Will Probably Go Horribly Wrong?