I have seen a pattern with some myself as well as other creative people I know. You get inspired, create something awesome, and after you get it working, you go to finish it up. Finishing it up could mean, enclosing a project, transferring to PCB from breadboard, or even writing sheet music for a song. Your’e geeked, you created an awesome thing, it’s the best ever, and now it’s time to make it shine and show the world. And then it happens..
Another great idea!!! I must prototype it now! I have to see if this works! I have to listen to this new melody! You get excited, exuberant with joy, and then it hits you. I didn’t finish the last project. Oh, but this new one is so good, I must move forward! And then you rinse and repeat.
I was watching AAE on New Year’s Eve, when Adabot asked the question, “What do you plan to do for the new year?” There were a lot of people, including myself, who answered, Finish projects! That’s when I started rethinking this whole process, and what I could do to break my bad habits. Sure I have a project list, it’s a half mile long! So, how can I realistically accomplish this? The answer is quite simple to be honest, discipline. I have to be more disciplined about finishing things. What I came to realize is that I must finish up something before I start on the next thing. Sounds simple, right?
Wait, so you’re telling me not to have more than 1 open project at a time? Not really, let me explain my process and boundaries. Sometimes, when I start a new project, I have no more breadboards available, so what do I do? I disassemble an incomplete project before making it permanent, and even worse, sometimes without documenting what progress was made. So a boundary that I have now is simply this, don’t sacrifice a project to start a new one. I might have 11 (yeah, I counted) breadboards with projects on them, but I now I am on a straight track to complete them before borrowing any parts, boards, Arduino’s, or completely forgetting the project details that made it awesome to begin with.
So may this year be a year of completion as well as new creations, to be shared with the open source community. Oh, and happy New Year!