Well I am not freaking out yet. This is acceptance of knowing my limitation and keeping my expectations in check. I try to have a high bar to what I post, and I try not to post quantity vs. quality. I have taken weeks off, months off and instead of just slapping one of these half written and post it. Of course, this breaks all of the rules of building an audience and a blog.
But this is where acceptance of ADHD has come. In the middle of writing one post I may have an idea and start another post leaving the first partially written. Of course in the middle of that new post I am doing research and get another idea and bounce to a third. During the writing this post which was started in June of 2023 I had another idea and did not finish this origincally Now jumping back to it, hoping to finish my thoughts. Or Not…
One thing that challenged me, and often still does is the thought of doing something, anything it has to be perfect. Of course having ADHD you get distracted, your brilliant ideas are not as easy to execute, and what looks brilliant in your mind doesn’t match what the reality is. This struggle stopped me from doing many things in the past, in fact it is partly why this became a blog vs a book. Part of the fear is the book would have to go past editors etc. A blog the only person I need to get past is me.
The book also in my mind sounded better than the first few blog posts. I had never written long form before. I wrote mostly technical documentation for work, and occasionally wrote something on the side. I needed to break two things, first my ability to actually finish a post, and second understand the perfect is the enemy of good.
I posted about previously about perfection prevents you from getting work done. Now there are times when perfection is needed, think heart surgery, accounting and filing taxes and others. But sometimes things are good enough. In the Agile development practice there is a notion of Minimal Viable Product(MVP). This allows you to shit something that isn’t perfect. Recently (July of 2023 for those reading years later) Meta releases on new product called Threads which is a great example of an MVP. Please not I am not endorsing the product, the company or am invested in it. This is just an example of an great MVP, the saw a competitor having some issues and released it before it has all the features they want.
So why not use this notion of MVP with other things, including my writing? This simple agile principal has allowed me to publish ideas that are 80 or 90% complete. I don’t worry about perfection, in fact I like to challenge my readers to fill in blanks, finish the thought, continue the conversation. The question what can you do that is good enough, and iterate to get better. Even things like doing the lawn, maybe cut it in the AM, take a break to the edging later and the weeds a few days later. It has freed my mind to doing something.
The MVP broke my perfection, knowing I can update or make changes later. But I started to see this notion of good vs. perfect even more often. Like people painting their house, washing their car, folding laundry etc. Sometimes hiring a professional is a good idea, but
The other thing I learned is that not only do you need to break things up this notion of MVP, but they also need a deadline. If there is no deadline then often well it does not get done. There were a couple of studies 1 and 2 that came up with different results. Why am I not surprised. This is the ‘everyone is the same’ or ‘everyone fits in a mold’ thinking. What I ma talking about is what works for me. If I set a deadline for myself (or it is externally given) I shoot to make that deadline. It it 100% the greatest work of all time, no its an MVP. I can then give me deadlines to update and fix it. But, without the deadline I can always find something else to occupy my time, or give in to the Calvin and Hobbes Theory of last minute panic. If you can spare the time, please read the whole comic strip, its a classic.
So as I complete this months later than I started, I failed to give myself a deadline on this particular post but it does read like an MVP. I give myself a little break as my goal for 2023 was a post a week, and though yes i have 20+ in draft, the weekly deadline has me often taking one out of draft and finishing it. In this case, this is the lucky winner. It is about what works for you, and trying it out. If this does not try another method to get the tasks you need done. Failure here is a lesson in how to get yourself more productive. For me, as I reread this it is MVP and yes it is out on time. I am happy.
This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free. I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them
This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book. With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path. I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content. I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip. I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog. AI is not used in this writing other than using the web to find information.Images without notes are created using and AI tool that allows me to reuse them.