At some point, I think that many of us – if not all of us – have all been in a position where we feel like we have too much going on. Or, to use a cliché, we have too many irons in the fire.
In some ways, I think it’s a good thing. I mean, we’ve involved ourselves in a number of projects and activities all of which are contributing to something larger than ourselves for the betterment of the people around us, but, at the same time, we continue to add to this list of responsibilities that we have.
The thing is, those responsibilities may come in different forms. They don’t have to come in the form of projects that we’re working on on our computers or around the house, nor do they have to come in the form of something work related.
Perhaps your family changes in some way, perhaps you change in some way. Whatever the case, you find yourself looking for a little bit more margin – a little bit more breathing room so that you can either focus on all of the stuff that’s cropped up in your life, or so you can move on to higher priority projects.
The thing is, what are you supposed to remove that would ideally prevent the project from grinding to a halt all while making sure the right person takes the reigns to continue making sure that it stays in development (or whatever term works best here) and continues to benefit those who use it?
That’s the big question, right?
I don’t necessarily have an answer for it. Sure, there are a few things that I’m looking to shift around, to offload to other passionate developers, and there are ways in which I’m looking to take on larger projects, and some opportunities that allow me to expand my energies elsewhere.
But I don’t really know the best course of action for doing that, so I thought I’d share how I’m planning to take care of it (though I’m eager to how how you approach these things, as well).
The Original Plan
For the first quarter of this year, I had made plans for Pressware that played out significantly different than how the first two months went. To be clear, this isn’t a bad thing – it’s just a thing.
Originally, I had wanted the team and I to focus our efforts on a couple of themes and working on bringing them to WordPress.com and possibly other marketplaces.
Ultimately, that didn’t happen – and that’s okay. As I’ve shared before, I’m in a period of transition where I’m working to spin up a second part of the business (namely, the product-side) while the service-side of the business is continuing to grow.
As such, there were more service-oriented projects than product-oriented projects; however, now that most are complete, I’m going to be taking the four weeks of March to focus on a single contract and to really focus on the business, where I want it to go, the projects I want to complete, timelines, making sure that everyone is in their ideal role, and making sure that we’re doing all we can to start up another side of the business while also keeping the other one going.
I’m really looking forward to it, but it’s also going to require sacrifices on my part such that I simplify how far I’ve spread myself on some work and zero my focus in more on other work.
As such, part of the time in March will be taking a look at a number of the different projects in which I’m involved and in which I maintain and determining if they are worth holding onto and continuing to work on, or worth finding a new maintainer.
It’s a little nerve wracking, though. We do get emotionally attached to our projects such that the idea of letting someone else have them (for lack of a better term) becomes wrapped up in a number of different feelings.
But I think this is a natural consequence of caring about the work we do. At least I hope so.
Once I actually have some of the work prioritized, I’ll share what I’m looking to offload and maybe give some insight as to what I’m looking to work on next. Ultimately, I’d love to be focused on those tasks for the remainder of the year.
At this point in my career, I’ve worked for myself longer than any one organization and though I’ve worked for some great places, but doesn’t it make sense to want the place at which I’m currently working to be the best place I’ve worked?
I’ve the opportunity to set that up exactly how I want and I don’t want to squander it. It needs a bit of focus as much as does the work that will follow.
Like I said above, I’m interested in hearing how all of you have approached this particular feeling before, as well.
It can be what worked, what didn’t work, and what you wished you’d done differently if you could go back in time. I’m clearly limiting myself to only a few weeks to focus on this for a while and want to try to make great strides in getting it as right as possible until the next time to focus comes around.