In two days I embark on my 1001 Nights project. The fact that I’m now updating the blog is a good sign, as it means I’ve kept my focus on this idea for more than a single week.
I’m aware that some of my tasks seem fairly minor – setting up RSS feeders, donating old shoes, identify 100 things that make me happy. The reasoning behind these are twofold: First, having some relatively simple milestones to hit keeps me jazzed about the work I’m doing. If I can reach these small goals while moving toward the larger ones, I’ll be more likely to keep my attention on said larger goals.
Secondly, the fact is … if they’re on the list, then they’re not minor or trivial to me. The goal of this project isn’t to impress people (though I do hope to inspire some) but to get these things done. If it’s on the list, it’s been on my mind for more than a month over the past dozen years or so. What’s simple for one person might be a real trial for another.
There are other tasks that are, for me, extremely ambitious. Two novels when I’ve barely scratched a chapter of one? Sixteen pieces published when my record stands at three? A thirty-three mile bike ride? These tasks will take preparation and planning, not just rolling up my sleeves and diving into them, and that’s what I’m anticipating the most difficulty with.
Historically, I’m good at just knuckling down and getting good work done just under the wire, while preparation hasn’t been a strength of mine. That may really be the hundred and second task … getting myself accustomed to long-term planning.
I’m planning to choose two of those long-term projects to focus sharply on for February through May. Three months should give me a good feeling for how quickly I can work and turn things around, as well as how many of the shorter-term projects can be knocked out of the park.
Such is the plan. As always, good luck with your projects – wish me luck on mine!