It’s amazing what a 9k text file will do for your peace of mind. I finally got around to making a list of Projects like I’ve been meaning to. While I’m nearly religious about keeping a task list, I’ve never bothered to capture those multi-step projects in one place. What bothers me is why I waited so long.
For one, it’s not as fun. Friends see me all the time whipping out my notepad to jot a little tidbit down. I admit, there’s an addictive element to it. I’m writing shit down. Then I go and check them off. It’s enjoyable. I’m on top of things. But when I’m faced with all my Great Ideas that I can’t do in 2 minutes… Eek. I’m basically procrastinating on a larger scale. I’m choosing workiness over fulfillment.
David Allen talks about this in Productive Talk on procrastination that he recorded with Merlin Mann. Allen paraphrases some ideas from the book The War of Art. Listen to it, right around the 2:30 mark:
The thing that is closest to your soul is the thing you’re going to avoid the most. The thing that will tap into the part of you that has not yet come to the fore but wants to be expressed but you’re so afraid of it: you will absolutely find every single thing in your life to avoid doing that… You might actually have to show up.
It’s just plain embarrassing to see what I’ve neglected. About 85% of what I have on my Projects list is over 2 weeks old. Ouch. While none of it has blown up, it’s still broken promises to myself. It’s just me and Projects.txt and the Deep Truths™ of my existence.
The upside is, while Projects.txt is currently a chronicle of failure-to-date, it can also be a manifesto. Onward and upward.