Why does this happen? Part 1 of many

So, I’m working on a new project. It’s kind of a big deal. At least for me. If I do it right, it will make money and possibly make me famous. Or at least famous-er.

Consider this a tease for it.

The project is large and requires me to wear many hats. I’ll need to be a business manager, a marketer, technical support and administrator, as well as the creative department.

And each of those functions generate a list of things to do. I write them down, organized into lists. I call these my “to do lists”.

These lists are fairly long. And there’s multiple lists.

It’s discouraging. I know what I need to do. I’m just having a hard time picking where to start. I’ve been thinking about this project for a month or more.

I feel pressure from the idea itself, sitting in my head, wanting me to start doing it.

The more I think about it, the more items and lists I come up with. How nuts is that? Instead of helping me organize my steps and checking the items off and slowly, surely, putting together a complete, working thing… I’m just making more and longer lists.

I feel pressure from the social, financial and political events that have caused me to come up with this project in the first place. The longer I wait, the higher these external pressures get.

It’s not getting done. Instead I keep doing the same things I always do; writing blogs, going to work, running, cleaning my apartment, paying my bills, riding the bus, hanging out with friends once in a while, eating delicious food, buying groceries, logging my calories, surfing, sleeping. All of those things are entertaining or necessary, and they all take time out of my day. Time and energy. I have a limited amount of time, and what feels like a limited amount of energy, and it’s all being used up by the things that I’m already doing.

There seems to be no time and energy for this new thing.

The closest I come to working on the new thing is when I come up with an idea for another item on my to do list, or spend a few minutes re-arranging the lists I already have, or when I’m surfing and I come across an article that gives me details or tools or ideas for the new project, and I rush to integrate that new information into my lists. Sure, I’m technically “working” on the project. But it’s not getting to “done” at all.

And I get discouraged.

And then…

In my surfing, I came across this video (hat tip to Merlin Mann), from someone I’ve heard of before but have never taken the time to sit down and watch: Ze Frank.

I set the video aside, because I didn’t have the time to watch it right then. A week goes by. The weekend comes, and starts to rush by. Sunday rolls around, and I decide I’m going to focus on my project completely.

And, instead, I go downtown and browse books relating to my project at Powell’s Books. I go get lunch at my favorite diner. I head home, intent on working on my project, then stop at the coffee shop to get something caffeinated – to help me concentrate, once I get home, of course. I get home, pull out the books, plug in my laptop, set everything out so I’m ready to start working… and I decide I need some background noise, so I start watching Futurama from start to finish.

More discouragement. I’m not working! I’m delaying!

I start going through my saved articles, the ones I saved for “later”. And the video I ignored earlier is there.

This video:

Some language not safe for work.

Wait. So… just start doing it? Even if I don’t have all the pieces in place? Even if it’s not perfect yet?

What the hell? Why am I waiting?

Thanks, Ze Frank.