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The Tinkered Mind
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April 8th, 2020
Fewer experiences are better than finishing a project. Most celebration is taken in relief of some task, be it daily work or some other grind, but finishing a project that is self-designed and self-executed seems to carry with it it’s own reward. Finishing such a task is reward and relief all wrapped up into one. There seems little need to heap on extra celebratory activities, but of course, why pass up such a warranted opportunity?
These instances, however, are few and far between. In the meantime, we need to draw and quarter our projects into much smaller increments, the smaller, the better. Because on the flip side of feeling good about finishing a project is getting to the end of the day and feeling as though the whole day was wasted chasing something that never materialized. In any arena, it’s not too hard to get stuck chasing the endless bottoms of rabbit holes that lead to nowhere productive.
There’s a special meta-skill in learning that enables a person to realize when they’ve entered an unproductive rabbit hole, and to back out and try one’s hand at some other task that might work out.
The ideal of any day is to set a clear and achievable finish line that is realistic. Getting to the end of the day with a sense of success further fuels the energy we have for tomorrow, and this is what we need – momentum, more than anything. Momentum of action and execution is the greatest factor to determine whether we will come to the final finish line, regardless of how small the success of each day.
Projects are fractal in this way. Few things worth doing can be pulled off in a single day. Projects require many days of dedicated focus. Our goal then is to develop a skill of guessing what we might actually be able to get done in a day. Success can become like a falling line of dominos if this skill is well honed.
Any finish line is really the end of a series of finish lines. Sectioning that main goal off into graspable days of work is just as important as any skill that is required to actually carry out the project.