If you follow me online in any capacity or know me personally, likely you will know that I set myself projects to complete over a given amount of time. If you're interested in why (the why is not necessary here though) but have a look at this series from earlier this year starting here https://waynehanley.com/who-am-i-the-late-video/.
This year I've had a few different projects to keep me occupied in my downtime. Maybe too many? Sometimes we can set ourselves tasks and challenges we think are achievable. On occasion, if those challenges are more involved, than you first realised you may have to revise them to be more feasible.
Right now that's the situation I'm in. Coming out of 2018, I had managed to achieve everything I wanted to in the year. All the projects I wanted to tackle personally I did. All the targets for improvement I felt I managed. I was enthused and motivated. Or was I?
Right now I don't feel that's the case. After making it through the first two-thirds of the year, I don't feel as though this year, I have managed to progress in any of the meaningful ways I wanted to. My first project though still indeed ongoing as taken a back seat due to my own massive underestimation of the time it would take. I was hoping to be done and launch it over the festive period. This is likely to be 2020 though rather than in 2019.
I had tried to write at least 2 blog posts a week that I could make publically available on this site. That, however, did not happen as you can clearly see.
What have I done wrong an what I have I learned from it?
Planning! In my professional life, that has been the focus of my time for the last 24 months. Developing long term plans and strategy to drive things forwards, win arguments and generally pull everyone together in the right direction. To be the credible hulk, account for every eventuality and in no uncertain terms be prepared.
I took this approach with my personal goals too. This is where I failed. At first, I was ashamed with myself that there is no realistic way that I am going to achieve all the things I wanted to get done. Then I felt even worse as I planned to increase even further in 2020. My plan was perfect.
It wasn't though. What I didn't account for in my single-minded analytical manner was not all of my life is a closed system. Unlike work, which is structured and in some respected regimented, my personal life isn't. I have X amount of time to Y tasks, split of X1 periods, I know the outcomes I want are Z. I can easily manage everything I need to do that when I have 37.5 hours a week in my work life.
I made the assumption (something I hate to admit as I don't deal in assumptions as a general rule) I could easily translate this formula over as I did the year before just upscale it. Wrong.
Looking back on the last couple of months now, however, I can see where I made mistakes. Partly it was planning, but the other aspect was a purpose. Some of the things I tried to do where I didn't have any.
That's not to say learning for the sake of knowledge is not fun. It is. And for some people that can be the reward. For me though what that lead to was burn out and that's where I am. This year I forgot to have fun. Everything I've tried to do as been an extension of my day job to the detriment of everything else.
There is a lot to be said for been driven; To forging on with something. Overcoming any obstacle in the way but also you have to know when to stop. With me, I got to the point around mid-year when I was done. I dropped everything I was working on and lost myself in something utterly different and have hardly touched any of the things I planned on doing this year since then. I burned out totally to the point I couldn't face even to attempt to make any progress.
Thankfully I've been afforded a little time away and time to reevaluate my goals. Yes, there is no way I am going to be able to complete what I wanted, but from this failure, I've learned what my limits are and the changes I can make to make sure I this is just a bump in the road, not a dead-end.
For me, failure is no longer a bad thing I should be ashamed of. No matter what I'm doing so long as I learn from failure, nothing is wasted. Not learning is when failure becomes a problem.
Have you experienced this with your own projects? How did you manage to overcome it? Let me know in the comments.