I’ve spent weeks recycling old projects. These were time-sensitive, context-specific, or otherwise projects I procrastinated on and now they’re in the recycle bin. It’s unfortunate. Some of these ideas were cool, but now that I’m moving and focusing my life’s interests, there’s no point in experimentally building any of these now. I am becoming more careful about auditing my excitement over starting new projects. I won’t loaf over completing boring, old projects. Complete or scrap!
I think it’s natural to get bored with some projects.
There’s a reason why we value “new” toys – be them action figures, car projects, programs, or anything, really. There’s this excitement over checking out something that isn’t part of our routine reality. Is the cure to this sort of problem to become more comfortable with boredom?
I think it comes down to prioritizing completing tasks.
Say there’s a task that’s tedious or difficult to accomplish. Can you outsource part or all of the work? Even if it’s tapping a shoulder of a friend, you can explain the situation, and see if they’ll give you a hand. Sometimes, even that is enough to motivate me, at least, into completing the last bit.
Reassess that task’s priority.
Is that task even worth completing? I go over my digital tasklist each morning to best use my “free time” and to see if I might have already accomplished part of a certain task. If I’ve already moved some boxes, but not all of them, I could go ahead and get that done to get an early tasklist victory.
Sometimes, it’s just a matter of a quick mental break.
If I’m working on a large editing project, for example, then it’s nice just writing some thoughts here, packing some old paperwork, or rowing for 10 minutes. Even if you have a deadline coming up quick, it’s still good to practice the opposite when any minor distraction will stray you away.
But what if you never want to return to that project?
Ask yourself: “Is this project worth the time and effort?” If it’s worth the time or effort, keep going, otherwise, be honest with yourself. How much did you really want this project? Can it be scrapped? Can some of its ideas be reused in a better project? If so, don’t be afraid to scrap it!
Just make sure to give that considerable thought.
It’s not responsible to start and scrap projects frequently. These essays, for example, are daily projects that follow the four major phases of a project:
- Initiation – I come up with an idea, usually just the title.
- Planning – If the idea sticks around, I’ll start writing.
- Execution – I write until I reach 500 words or more.
- Completion – I publish and usually will go onto the next essay.
Completing projects is important, no matter how small. Learning to complete work is the toughest thing of all. As trivial as some of these essays might appear, they’re useful for one reason:
I finish a writing project daily; no matter how insignificant.
|Sources: My personal experiences|
|Inspirations: Finishing up a big writing project and simultaneously feeling motivated to get it done, since it’s a good piece, but also distracted by the move, so when I started to lose steam on editing, I’d write here, and then when I felt more motivated here, I’d get back to editing. Sometimes just a minor distraction like that’s all we need to finish projects.|
|Related: Other Moving Zeal essays.|
|Photo: My recycling bin, with any personal information going into a shred pile.|
|Written On: January 7th [30 minutes]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft.|