I bet you’re like me. You have a long list of projects, whether in your head, scribbled on a notepad somewhere or setup in an online planning system.
These are the projects that you want to get to someday, but you can’t find the time for them. Or you want to start, but you don’t know where. Or you have an idea of where to start, but you have so many ideas that you don’t know which to prioritize (hello!)
I can do a lot to plan projects. I can find the right tools, realize that they aren’t right, and find the new tool that is supposed to be even better. Finally, I have a plan and I can be ready when it’s time to start! But none of these things actually do the important thing: actually starting that project. Planning is nothing without execution.
One of the things that I think holds me back is the hustle culture that I am in. It feels like a necessity that anything that would take a long time for me to master or complete should exist in part to make money. It’s that insidious mindset that tells us Why We Can’t Stop Working.
I don’t truly think that everything should be a money making endeavor. I think that we should be allowed to do things for fun, and to follow passions wherever they may lead. I think that makes for more well rounded and interesting individuals! We can live out the small-l liberal idea of expanding horizons and being ok with things being different, or being imperfect, or being ok with just putting things down and not calling it a failure.
I have a few projects that have been simmering for years that I want to get to. I have a few new ideas that came up in the meantime that I’ve already executed on. Among all of that are the tasks that seem more important every moment that I think of them, yet not important enough to put down what I’m currently doing to attend to.
Putting things down permanently is hard. It’s an acknowledgement that you thought of something and maybe even tried it, but it did not work for you. That means that it was a waste: a waste of resources, a waste of money, a waste of time. But what if it wasn’t a waste and was instead an opportunity that you took full advantage of as you could at that time?
This week I want to do an exercise with each of you. I want to put something down, thank it for being there when it served me, and being ok with it being gone from my life in the future. I want you to do the same. You can do it quietly, or you can share with others that you are doing so to get some accountability. Heck, you can reply to this email if you want to share with me what you are putting away for good to make space for something else in your life.
I have so many things that I want to do with my life. But I’m not going to get there if I have to constantly view them through the lens of utility alone.
If you made it this far, why not share this newsletter with a friend? Or share with me some of the things that you found that you liked this week. Either way, I’m thrilled!