This blog is one of the first things I have to get done in the morning before I can work on anything else. It’s a strange habit I developed over a year ago when I found myself with quite a few things to write about and decided that I’d slog through them at one idea per day until I ran out of material. Today, whilst my blog posts are longer and generally a lot more thought out, the core idea behind them doesn’t seem to come as easily as it once did. This very post had me scrounging around for a couple hours to find something to write on until it finally dawned on me.
You see this blog is a kind of artificial barrier to me achieving any goals that I might have set forth for the day. There’s really no compelling reason for me to do this before anything else other than for the joy of it or the small hope of Internet fame. Realistically if I didn’t write a post today nothing bad would happen apart from me disappointing a few of my lunchtime readers and the hit count going down for a day. Still I’ve managed to convince myself time and time again that until the post is written, proof read and scheduled I can’t get any meaningful work done as it will sit at the back of my head, constantly nagging away at me until I cave into it.
The concept of artificial barriers isn’t new to me either, as it’s something that I’ve dealt with in many different aspects of my life. Pretty much any endeavor I’ve undertaken has usually come to a point I see myself thinking “If only I had that piece of equipment” or “If only I could do X” and use that as an excuse to shelve a project completely. The barriers themselves really didn’t exist and they were merely an excuse to placate my own inadequacies rather than dealing with them the hard way (I.E. working with what I’ve got). Over time I’ve gotten better at identifying the times when I’m engaging in these games of mental gymnastics with myself, but that hasn’t seen me drop the habit entirely.
It all came to a head last night when I was eying off the new MacBook Pro models that Apple has released. I’ve long said that it would probably be my next laptop as I need a mac machine to do the iPhone development work I have planned plus I have plans to do a bit of travel in the coming months, and something relatively portable with a bit of grunt would fit the bill nicely. Still in the last month though the amount of development work I’ve done would total about 4 hours or so, as I’ve spent the better parts of my weekend playing games and generally avoiding spending any of my free time working. In the back of my head though the excuse has always been “I need to start coding the handset application now” which leads me down a spiral of analysis ultimately ending with “I’ve got an iPhone, I should do that first”. Buying the MacBook rubs up against the fiscally responsible side of me who tells me I don’t really need the device, and hence we arrive at yet another artificial barrier to me progressing towards my goals (I could quite easily just code up a Windows Mobile version to get the infrastructure in).
I’ve picked on people in the past for doing this as well because really you have no excuse apart from some internal desire that’s manifested itself as this artificial barrier. Primarily I see this when people tell me they’re not happy where they’re working but once you dig a little deeper you find that they are quite comfortable where they are, and the idea of facing the unknown is far more scary than dealing with their current set of issues. For my current artificial barriers it would seem to come from a deep rooted belief that all the work I do is crap, and I shouldn’t bother with it anyway. This could also be because I just scrapped the last 2 months worth of work after talking to someone who’s in the industry (and gave me great insight without even knowing it) and I’m faced with yet another giant wall to overcome, but again it’s not the barrier I’m making myself think it is.
If you’ve managed to get this far into this post let me just say thank you. Whilst this blog is almost entirely self serving (in the fact that I’m really doing this all for myself, although I like to think I’m producing something of worth) this blog post is my way with dealing with the current climate of change that’s surrounding my life. I’ve had quite a hectic month and it doesn’t look like it’s going to settle down anytime soon. Hopefully though once everything settles down I’ll be able to rekindle my passion for starting my own company and bring something to the world that will really be of some worth. There’s nothing more therapeutic for me than making my own weaknesses public as, for some strange reason, it motivates me to work on them. Maybe I’m just some kind of weird exhibitionist in that way… 😉