It seems that perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. - Antoine de Saint-ExupÃ©ry
I have an issue with trying to do too much. It’s pretty well documented, actually – I think my teachers called me out on it as early as the 3rd grade.
I need to start saying no.
The problem is that I say yes to too many things, I try to get involved in too many projects, and I stick my nose in areas that I don’t need to… mostly out of curiosity.
I need to stop shutting myself down when I get overwhelmed.
My mom once told me that, when I was little, I’d try to do things that I physically couldn’t achieve (lack of motor skills and all that fun stuff). In frustration, I’d end up throwing a tantrum.
That trait of mine never really disappeared – it just manifests itself differently. Instead of throwing a tantrum when I can’t accomplish something, I give up and walk away.
I’m not proud to admit that, but it’s true, and it’s a personal flaw that I’m trying to change.
What am I doing to make an improvement?
Projects are being scraped off my plate.
- I retired from web development to focus on the communications side of my career.
- Going forward, GTANet will be the only gaming hobby site that I work with.
- Toronto WordPress Meetup will be the only local organization that I’m heavily involved in.
Instead of abandoning projects, I’m transitioning them to others.
- Wes Bos, a talented developer that I met through Ladies Learning Code, has agreed to take on projects that I can no longer support. Bridges aren’t burned and everybody wins.
- Kryten will be taking over as lead administrator for the Red Dead Redemption forums. I’ll stick around for support issues, and retain ownership of the domain.
Instead of rejecting new projects, I’m introducing clients to developers.
- When someone comes to me and asks for help on a website, I won’t say no – instead, I refer them elsewhere. This way, I can maintain a good relationship with a bigger network of people without increasing my workload.
Why is it so important to minimize the workload?
There are tons of blog posts out there about why it’s important to do less. Most of it comes down to productivity (being more effective), reducing stress (and improving health), and maintaining flow (keeping on track to get things completed).
Here are a few worth checking out:
- How to reduce stress by doing less, and doing it slowly.
- Simplify, and Savor Life
- Focus on less, do more.
Will this work?
I certainly hope this works out – my sanity depends on it.