Here is a list of the "projects" I've set for myself during my long hiatus from a salaried job:
- Write another book
- Revise and submit the book I did finish (while working my first full-time job, I should add)
- Build my brother's birthday present from 2008
- Create a new webpage for the B&B party
- Keep a blog (you already know how well that one turned out)
- Learn Visual Basic
So, with that in mind, here is a list of my "accomplishments" since graduation:
- Watched 2 seasons of Dexter, 4 seasons of Bones, as many episodes of CSI, NCIS, Psych, NCIS:LA, and Leverage as I could find available on-demand or on Netflix "Watch Instantly" at any given time.
- Earned roughly 7000 gamer points for achievements on my Xbox 360 (for reference: Bruce, Pennock, and Lockard are the only people on my friends list who have 7000 points at all, let alone within a 15-month period)
- Read something like a million books (including lots of WWII histories -an interest kindled after watching the full set of Band of Brothers)
I am learning though. The solution to my "infinite time" dilemma is two-fold:
(1) Create a time shortage
Perfect example, I started a new job three weeks ago and suddenly you're getting your first blog entry in six months (and that one barely counts). Even an artificial shortage helps. Restricting my time on a personal project to specific hours forced me to actually do the work during those hours rather than telling myself I'd have time later and that, in the meantime, it was fine to seek out another secret achievement on my Batman game.
(2) Create external pressure
Part of the reason I returned to the blog instead of retiring it (as I'd been contemplating) is that my Dad asked about it which, for those of you who remember when these columns existed in email form way-back-when, is precisely why I started sharing these thoughts with others to begin with. A more successful example is The League of Extraordinary Writers. I recently assembled a few writer/critic friends into a writer's group where, among other things, we serve as motivation for each other to actually sit down and write something. I respond well to homework, and by gathering others who would expect me to contribute something on a regular basis I've made more progress on my book this summer than in the past three years combined (which is especially sad given how little progress that is BUT, thanks to the group, it IS accelerating and I'm really excited about that).
Do I have my project completion issues completely resolved now? Probably not, but I am at least working on most of these actions again. I've already begun to tackle that project list again and, at the very least, the list of "accomplishments" above certainly contains several noteworthy opportunities for review-style blog entries. Maybe I'll actually get around to writing some of them now that I don't have the time.