Ideas and other temptations
My desk. This was taken right before Hurricane Ike – the hurricane tracker is on the screen!
“Good ideas are only given to you for a limited amount of time. If you don’t act on them, they belong to someone else.”
I have a confession to make: I cannot finish a thing. Shiny new ideas are my addiction. But when my son’s teacher told us “he starts a lot of projects but doesn’t finish any” I realized I have to search out some solutions. If I can learn how to finish more of my work perhaps I can help him.
My current perspective is that I don’t finish stuff because I don’t have enough time. I read countless productivity tips and try organizing, reorganizing, scheduling, planning, making lists… In other words, following the cookie crumb trail of New Ideas. In my mind, each new tip is The One, the one that will change my world from upstream struggle to success. I’m slowly realizing that this perspective is false. I do have enough time – I just have too many ideas. By trying to act on all of them I am failing to truly act on any of them. I have to let some go and keep the ideas that are a great fit for my personality, interests and abilities.
Part of the problem is finding that fit. There are lots of things I like to do, and even more things that I could do. But that range of abilities and interests is a poisoned chalice – I always have too many projects on the go: so much choice has paralyzed me mentally. I need to learn to select ideas and projects to drop (and eventually not start!) – to use the To Stop list more effectively.
Join me on my quest to figure out how an ‘idea junkie’ can learn to channel Completer-Finisher behaviour, at least occasionally. Wish me, and my son, luck!