So what have I been up to lately?

Well, I’ve been doing a lot of philosophical thinking. This line of thought has risen out of a necessity to understand my current situation. One question, a paradox, has me in deep thought:

How can I simultaneously be getting so much done and yet feel like I’m not getting anything done at all.

I have a form of ADD. I haven’t looked it up in any medical journal (yet), but I feel it is related to ADD and a common affliction. Like many people, I need more than just the task in front of me. At all times, I need that next thing (or next 5 things) in the back of my head to think about.

So while I’m doing a lot of stuff and getting a lot done, I’m not getting anywhere on that next thing. It’s like reading a book, but thinking about something other than the words your eyes are consuming. For once in my life I want to get to a point where I honestly have to ask myself, “What’s next?” Or I just want a clean slate so I can think back and appreciate the work I’ve done.

Perhaps my problem is that I see myself as a creative person. And I give too much emphasis to the creation of the things I work on. And once something has been created, the fun part is over. Time to move on to the next thing.

So here I am, creating and creating. But never finishing before I’ve got my pen down again. How do I get the focus to follow through?

I’m scared of an end state. Is it the nature of the things I’m working on or the nature of myself that causes things to get bigger in scope just as they are about to be completed? WineLog was meant to be a database to track wines. It does that, but now it needs to be an online community, it needs to have avatars for users, and a way to import data from spreadsheets, and a better recommendation engine. By the time those things are finished, I’ll have 10 more to take their place.

My advice to project managers on projects that have gone a few months without clearing a major milestone… no no, my advice to me:

Make something up to celebrate about. Chances are that if you think back on the work you’ve done, and leave behind the thoughts of what still lies ahead, you’ll realize that you have accomplished something you can be proud of.

People like me are often too busy thinking about the next task, project, or big idea to enjoy the work we’ve done already.

So this New Years I will take a moment to forget what lies in store for me in 2007 and congratulate myself on all I’ve done in 2006. Congratulations, me.