Day 6 of 30

I am trying not to obsess over finding the perfect project management (PM) tool, but I’m not doing great at it. I used “ATracker” for a few entries, but I didn’t like the user interface (UI). On the other hand, I’ve enjoyed using Toggl for work, so I created a new board specifically for non-work tasks. Ideally, I’d be able to track time directly in the project – and I think that’s possible with Asana – but I can’t learn everything at once.

As I started planning my solo recital and adding other things to the list, something interesting (but not unfamiliar) happened. Getting it out of my head and writing out the steps that I need to achieve makes it real. It doesn’t matter how grand the plan is in my head. What matters is what I can actually complete. When I write some things down, I realize it won’t take as many steps as planned, or vice versa.

PM tools can’t help me plan. I still have to do the sequencing and think through the steps and timeline. I don’t need a PM tool for that; I really only need pen and paper. And most of what I need help with is task management instead of extensive project management.

That said, I’ve listed the tasks (songs) that I need to complete (learn) by February, and I’ve also scheduled the dress rehearsals. I assessed what I’ve already learned and determined which pieces I needed to master to finish the half-hour concert. One of my piano teachers encouraged me to pick a recital date and stick with it. If the date is flexible, I can constantly tweak the program. I’m not bound by anything. Setting a date forces me to focus my time on what’s possible. In a way, setting a deadline actually helps me get more done. I make better use of the time because I want to be accountable for my schedule. I stop dreaming and start doing.

It’s Sunday, and I’m in one of those moods where I want to be a lazy bum, but I feel guilty for being a lazy bum. Usually, I struggle with this all day, but I want to do it differently this time. I’m going to pick some things to do – maybe 3 – then allow myself to relax or be spontaneous the rest of the time.

  1. Workout – It doesn’t have to be a long one, but I want to break a sweat and feel like I did something.
  2. Work – I want to spend one hour preparing for the work week ahead.
  3. Piano – I want to practice and track my practice time using Toggl.

But life can’t be managed.

So, scratch that. I deleted Jira. But also signed up for Monday.com and Asana. I think I’ll stick with Asana. From what I’ve seen, they do the best job of explaining how to align their product with agile terminology. I want to explain some of the topics here, but first, let me tell you about my idea.

As I mentioned before, I believe life is a project, but I don’t think you can “manage” life. I have tried very hard to “manage” it, and I have been horribly unsuccessful. So finally, I’m warming up to the idea that I should live life. Sounds basic – I know – but it really was a big aha moment. And I wondered if you could apply project management (PM) principles to your own life. Use the same approaches for decision-making, the same formulas to evaluate progress, the tools to manage time. Every time I pick up some steam with this idea, I think – “oh, this is stupid. It’s too much work to test it, and ultimately, no one cares.”

I’ve been afraid to be curious about it, scared that people would judge me. And when I look at my life over time, I’ve always been terrified of judgment. And it makes me show up small sometimes. Too often. I learned that fear of judgment, rejection, and being unlovable are core human fears.

Who the fuck says, “your idea is stupid, and no one cares”? That’s mean. We’d never say that to a friend. Yes, we’d tell them the truth, but with kindness. So why would I say it to myself? Why would you say it yourself?

I feel like I have to make other people’s ideas a reality, that I have to make their dreams come true. But I’ve been so occupied with their idea of me that I abandoned the goals I had or never discovered new pictures of my own. I have a problem with procrastination and (waning amounts of) perfectionism. I used to always stop everything I started. But then I realized the momentum you gain from sticking with and finishing. It only feels fitting to finish now, and when I don’t finish – it’s intentional.

So I’m going to finish my 30 in 30! Tomorrow, we learn about project management!