in Plotting Your Course

How to be everywhere and nowhere at all once

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I will sometimes waste entire days staring at the screen trying to do something. I’m not proud of it and it’s something I try to limit, but sometimes my response to being productive is being paralyzed by the idea of not having enough time.

For instance, I have so many different blogs that I write that I will often say “I have like eight blog posts to write” because it’s true. I have lots of things I want to say. If you’ve spent any time with me in real life at all, you know this is a true statement. But writing on a bevy of channels isn’t the same as actually processing everything you need to say in each one of them. They require different thinking, different thoughts and ideas that might not always fuse neatly together when you need them to.

Which is really irritating.

One of the ways I’ve grown from my younger years has nothing to do with doing less stuff, as much as I’ve become better at realizing you can’t do everything at once. I’m far more interested in building sustainable projects that have a legacy beyond my ability to run them. I used to do projects that were heavily reliant on me being there to manage every aspect of them. Obviously these things would sort of die after I left because they weren’t being run the same way.

As time went on, I became far more interested in creating things for wider audiences that would last longer. I would build with cultivating leaders in mind. Too often we don’t want to reveal the secret sauce behind what we’re doing, because there’s a fear that people will perceive the work to be too easy. This negates the intangibles of our talents, but is a fear that’s generally unfounded. By helping others do more, we save organizations money and we help people adapt and grow their perspective behind the mystique of what they thought went behind different things.

I realize now that it’s not realistic to manage of ton of projects and expect the same kind of result. But not every project is built with the same aim in mind. Sometimes, there’s no aim at all. We’re just doing something that sounded interesting. That’s the case with the movie blog. We didn’t sit down one day at summer camp and say “hey, let’s start a sport” or “we should create a tumblog with 80,000+ followers.” In both cases, it just worked out that way.

You can’t always create the movements that resonate. And it doesn’t always make sense to try to tackle something bigger than you can handle or to set out with the goal of doing that. If I had, I’d be in a totally different place and not necessarily for the better.

Nonetheless, doing something is better than doing nothing. Just remembering that is often the trick and realizing that the first few attempts aren’t going to be perfect. But we’re not striving for perfection, just constant improvement.

On to the next thing.