Personal Project Overload? Reboot.

A frequent problem of mine – coming up with too many tasks to do in my free time. Its something that plagues me when I’m too busy to add to the list; I have to keep piling it on. A backlog of games/books/movies, new projects, blog updates, clean out files on my computer or desk, picking up gardening, trying new recipes, begin an exercise program, catch up with old friends, and the list can go on and they do and they multiply. Often it leaves me just sitting and staring at the wall, not knowing which way I should be turning and my brain scattered across the room. Or even worse, it ends with endlessly streaming through Facebook posts and articles, mindlessly going where everyone has gone before. I feel lucky when it’s more productive procrastination, cleaning the apartment and reorganizing my desk, both usually on my “Household List.” In the end comes down to me not getting anything meaningful done.

When I decide to tackle the bigger projects, I am hit with the realization that I am horribly unprepared and need to delve into researching techniques and tutorials so I can even begin. Which again, means I’m not starting the original goal. An endless loop of learning and not producing, and I have met many that have fallen into that same chasm. I think it would be helpful to note this is not the case in my job, where I am constantly having to pick up new skills to get through my day. This very well could be where the problem lies for me. Doing the same thing at home and at work, eventually you just burn out. How do you refresh? How do you ride your passion?

Over the past 6 weeks I’ve readjusted my schedule and priorities. Instead of just sitting in front of the TV and thinking about how I should finally get behind that design document I’ve been meaning to write or go on that run I’ve rescheduled every week for months, I’ve thrown myself into the “research” portion of my project and have gone on that run. I’ve given my brain the chance to get in the gear that I’ve been looking for… for probably years now… I’m allowing myself to play games and be absorbed by them. No longer allowing myself the excuse of being too busy. To make games you have to play them. You have to let yourself take those moments and refresh. Otherwise you spend your time hammering away and burning out. You can’t make something fun if you don’t know how to take time out and have fun.

While writing this entry, I took a break and landed on Twitter where this was waiting for me. I feel it really plays into these very ideas and is an excellent read:

The Crossroads of Should and Must: An Intelligent Illustrated Field Guide to Finding Your Bliss by Maria Popova

Make the time. Have some fun. I’m just going to leave this here to mull over a bit.