Shipping the job is not the end, nor the beginning

I have a problem of having too much on my plate and not enough time to do everything. It’s been this way for a while, I’ve always been working away at side projects, and I’ve learned the hard way that this is no way to go about things. I’ve had to say no to some really cool things I would love to do, but just don’t have the time.

I know that I have this predisposition, and to counteract it I’ve used a few tricks that have worked somewhat well, but are not foolproof. For example, I always make sure to add something to my calendar as soon as it comes up, including mid-term things that I don’t have a strict deadline for.

This is but one way I can control my actions, but of course you never know how long things will take, especially creative things. So simply adding them to the calendar isn’t usually enough. Especially with things where people don’t give you a deadline, which has happened a few times with translation, you have to set yourself a deadline and stick to it.

But that’s not all. You also have to allow yourself the time to come back to a job if necessary. I find it’s best to think that a job is never done. You can ship the job, but that’s not the end. There’s always follow up, and this follow up also needs to be allowed for. With this in mind, you don’t get complacent and annoyed when someone comes back to you for something that should have been done right the first time. Accept your mistake, fix it with pride, and move on. Then accept that the job may still not be done. So, adding stuff to your calendar is never enough. Which is why you also need to add in time for catching up on projects too.

And if you see your calendar filling up, that’s when it’s time to take a step back and see whether what’s on there is really in your long term interests. Will you be able to keep up the pace and importantly, motivation, at the same time? So, before even getting to the stage where you are able to ship, you really need to ask if doing the project is in your long term interests.

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