At any given moment I have a lot of things started. I bounce around working on something for a bit and then move to something else. It is rare for me to start something and stay with it without interruption until it is complete.
And even if something is nearly done there might be some small detail avoided in a moment when something else felt more urgent. More and more things end up in the land of almost done and lots of little details, like stitching fox paws, add up to a day or more of work that I’m not really factoring in. I’m nickel and diming myself to death in the time department.
For the last couple weeks, just to see what would happen, I’ve been picking one thing, one project or task and staying with it until it’s done. I check it off the list, clean up the mess and start the next thing. I started with low hanging fruit to get the ball rolling – little projects or orders that were just about done. The choice always feels uncomfortable, feels counter intuitive when so much needs to move forward and it’s hard to get all the other stuff out of my head and focus – but I settle down after a little while and I found lots of benefits to working this way:
* It busts right through unrealistic expectations and wishful thinking – I get a much better sense of how long things really take.
* Crossing stuff of the list feels good, finishing feels good – it puts energy back in the bank – loose ends are distracting and draining.
* It forces me to do some important things I avoid by burying myself in busyness – prioritizing, making choices and planning realistically.
* There is no ambiguity at the end of the day – progress or lack of it is very clear.
* Individual projects get more forward momentum – I’m less inclined to linger unnecessarily in choices and possibilities and I’m more inclined to work through problems efficiently since I can’t escape into another task, it creates a kind of resolve – it’s your birthday owl – today is the day, not tomorrow, not next week, today.