My Bane - Multiple Projects

Bane Sketch

This topic is something that’s been floating around in the back of my mind for the past several years. My weakness, fatal flaw, bane, whatever you want to call it… Is that I’m awful at doing multiple things. Really awful.

Whew, just saying it makes me feel a little bit better.

Every single day I open up my laptop, turn it on, and stare at the screen for a good 10 seconds or so before diving into whatever it is I’m doing: working on my startup, working on GitHub projects I’ve created, reviewing pull requests, reviewing feedback for my book, working on one of the other 50+ projects I’ve got going on at any given time… UGH.

During those 10 seconds, I’m completely destroyed by a tidal wave of thoughts:

  • Oh no! I didn’t review that pull request from that library I wrote.
  • Oh no! I need to finish up the new billing stuff on the website before our user emails go out!
  • Oh no! I need to rewrite this chapter of my book after getting some really awesome feedback.
  • Oh no! I’ve got a big talk coming up that I have to work on in the next several weeks.

As soon as those 10 seconds are over, however, I regain my composure, remember the most important thing I need to be working on, and start attacking it.

What really bothers me, however, is that day after day, month after month, year after year–I still think about all the things I need to do, should be doing, could have done, and want to do–constantly. It’s as if somewhere inside I’m paralyzed by my options, ambitions, thoughts, and goals.

I know that I want to do all of the things I’ve got on my mind. These are all things I’ve thought about, started, worked on, and set goals for. These are all things that I really love, and want to see become successful, kick ass, and enviable projects.

And even though I’m able to maintain focus–working on the most important things every day–it still bothers me to no end that I’m unable to dedicate as much time, commitment, and energy as I want to each of these projects that I love so much.

I’m beginning to think that at some point, importance just doesn’t matter anymore. If I feel really excited about working on my book, then I’m going to work on my book. If I feel really motivated to write that sexy new billing interface for my users, I’ll do that. If I feel like pushing the new product launch back two days so I have time to clean up, isolate, and publish that awesome python library which allows me to remove duplicate code from the code base, then I’m going to do it!

From now on, I’m going to make a conscious effort to stop letting importance dictate my life, and instead let my passion and motivation drive my daily work.

Instead of suppressing my urge to hack on my favorite projects, I’d instead like to use my passion to get shit done, feel happy with myself, and build awesome stuff. 

NOTE: Just to clarify, I’m not the type of person to work on a million separate ideas at a time. I have a relatively small list of projects that are really meaningful to me, which is what I’m talking about in this article.