I’ll take “Things that Jaden lacks” for $200.
All my life, I’ve had a real problem with organization and motivation. It took me a while to discover that those things are very connected. Without crafting a complex series of motions to get me sequentially through a project from start to finish, that project never gets done. I have pages upon pages of very simple, very achievable things that I want to get done in my life. Out of hundreds (ok maybe a hundred), I’ve accomplished about two or three.
I don’t consider myself especially lazy. It’s just absurdly hard to drive myself to get anything done. That sounds like laziness, doesn’t it? Maybe. But my condition doesn’t just apply to things like work; it also infects the things I want to do just for fun. I oftentimes can’t drive myself to do so much as drive to a party or write a blog post. The sheer act of concentration is about as pleasant as drinking detergent.
I’ve dealt with this all my life, and a few years back I think I lit upon an explanation. My problem isn’t with doing things, it’s with failing to get them done. Stack up enough unfinished projects and tasks that ended in complete disorganization and you get a virtual resume or failures. It’s crushing to the soul. You start to think that maybe you aren’t capable of finishing anything worthwhile. So when you start a new project with starry eyes, it’s super easy to quit early, when you have less to lose, instead of “inevitably” quitting deeper into the work, when you’ll be really embarrassed.
A few projects that I’ve launched and quit:
- Multiple books
- Multiple web apps and desktop apps
- Learning Korean and Spanish
- EDM production (which involved about $1000 worth of equipment)
I was going to write more on that list, but I just quit. Anyways, point is, I have a habit of taking on huge projects with determination alone. Without fail, determination alone has proven to be nearly useless when trying to learn a new skill.
So last night I took a deeper look at all these minor failures and found a common thread: lack of organization. It might be worth noting that I was diagnosed last month with ADHD, which (as we all know) is diametrically opposed to organization.
The major reason I’ve quit or put on hiatus each of those tasks is that I always reach a point where things become too complicated to just stare at the screen and hope I can bully the material into my brain. Then it becomes so easy to skip a day of study, or skip a week of study, or just put the whole project on hold. We all know how that goes.
So from now on I’m going to focus a lot more on carefully sketching out every step of every plan before the task starts. I’m going to reinstall my web browser plugins that restrict distractors like Facebook and Reddit, and bear down harder on a few projects.