I'm the kind of person who has trouble letting go. This is with clothes, toys, people, books, places, and really anything that has been part of my life for any period of time longer than a few minutes. This includes ideas. I'm not talking about idea debt here (though I definitely have them too), I'm talking about projects I've started or ideas I've had which I just can't let go.1
The project might be on the down or even failing. In some cases the project has even failed (past tense) and yet for some reason I can't let it go. Some internal pressure stops me from just scrapping it and keeps going irrespective of whether this will produce a negative outcome. If you follow this blog, you might have guessed where I'm going with this and what the alternate title would be.
In this case the project in question just turned out to be a bit tedious, but as standard I stuck with it regardless. The fact of it is that the email part of the Google Gone project was a big thing that I wanted to get right, and it failed pretty miserably. It didn't fail in an exciting way either - a lot of the things I wanted to try were either too time consuming or just not feasible.
The outcome here was a post which had very little substance, was about the end of a thing I'd never even announced had happened, and even made me bored reading it back. I shouldn't have posted it knowing that but I did anyways because I couldn't bare to see something I'd worked out for months go down the pan (even if that's where it belonged).
The gmail blog isn't the first time it's got this bad though. Long time readers will recall that I used to manage my blog with a self created service called Wren, maintaining which turned out to take up all of my blogging time. Despite this I continued with it for months on end at the detriment of another hobby which I loved. There are countless other examples through the years where the same thing happens.
"Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it." - Aubrey de Grey
This is clearly a problem for me and something I'm going to have to work on. There's this podcast I listen to a productivity podcast called Cortex which has a theme for this year: "the year of less". I liked the idea, and though I wasn't originally going to do anything with it I'm thinking I should. This year will be my year of less holding on, whether it be to material objects or ideas and projects.
Consider this a midyear resolution to be added to my new year resolutions for review in December, but I dare say if things go well I'll make some posts about it along the way. Then again, if things go badly I guess you'll probably hear about it too.
Note: This definitely isn't to say that hanging onto something can't be a good thing. With material objects it can be nice to have mementos and some things genuinely will be useful to have down the line, but there's only so far that can go before it becomes hording. Similarly with ideas, there's "it's the darkest before dawn" but there's also "cut your losses". It's all a balancing act. ↩