“All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin’ in the sun,
Talkin’ ‘bout the things
They woulda coulda shoulda done…
But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All ran away and hid
From one little did.”
– Shel Silverstein, “Falling Up”
Do you often find yourself overwhelmed by all the things you’d like to do? Well, I do!
As soon as something interesting strikes me I jot it down in my note pad or phone. This has lead to, for better or worse, an abundance of cool ideas and projects I’d like to do.
While I was talking to an illustrator who’s got the same “problem” (really, it’s more of a luxury than anything else), it hit me that they weren’t always talking about things they’d like to do as much as things they’d like to have done.
I started examining myself and came to the conclusion that about 95% of the stuff I’ve written down are really things I’d merely like to have done.
The difference is that the things I’d like to do are things where I enjoy the process of making the idea or project come to life as well as seeing the end result.
On the other hand things that I’d like to have done are things where I don’t enjoy the process and only want the end result.
There’s also a third category and these are really dangerous for me. I call these my WCS-ideas, my Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda-ideas.
These are ideas and projects where I enjoy the process so much I never actually finish them.
I make up lame excuses and whenever I actually put a deadline on it I somehow manage to keep pushing it into the future.
Why? Because I’m only accountable to myself for putting them out in the world. Also, finishing them means that I won’t get to keep working on them.
I’ve found that the only way I can manage to finish them is by including other people in the project or in some way being held accountable to them.
Here’s how I’ve changed my approach to these projects & ideas.
- Like to do: Not really changed much here. Luckily I’m self-motivated by these so I simply manage to do them. What I’ve done is to allow for extended breaks to occur so that I can look at them with fresh eyes.
- Like to have done: These I generally don’t bother with or give away to others who enjoy the process and can actually finish them. I only do them by myself if there’s a large upside and nobody else wants to jump on board.
- WCS: I include others or hold myself accountable to them in some way so that I actually finish them.
This is what I’ve found works for me. If you’ve got some ideas about how to manage them in another or better way, please let me know.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!