Today I did something scary. I added a deadline to my main “projects”. No longer do I have a whole bunch of amorphous projects that I may or may not ever complete that I am vaguely committed to occasionally working on. Nope, now I have 3 projects which I will either have completed by specific dates or I will have to accept I am not committed enough to ever complete.
Surprisingly my first feeling was one of relief. One of my projects for several years now has been learning Russian. I am interested in starting learning a few other languages but I have not allowed myself to because my Russian is not yet “good enough”. As of now I have a clear date where my Russian will be as good as I am going to actively make it. Of course I will try and maintain the level I reach but I am not going to keep on going forever never accepting any result as good enough. I know the date when I can guilt free indulge in curiosity about other languages and eventually even to commit to learning one.
Although I do feel a bit anxious about my deadlines, “what if I can’t make enough progress in that time!” I also feel quite excited. Now it’s a sort of race, how much can I achieve in the allotted time. Will I complete these projects or will I replace them. Again I am also excited about the chance to pick new projects when I reach the deadline. That excitement feels like a wave I can ride in order to give me the energy to work on these old projects that have become in some ways mentally stale, tedious and tiresome. Not that I hate doing them, but they just feel like a block to doing something else. Now I can tell myself “on date X there will be something else”. I might succeed or I might fail, but I will be done by then either way. I don’t like the idea of having permission to fail, but I think it gives me more impetus to actually put in the work to succeed, knowing I only have the one block of time in which to do so.