In January three years ago, in a blog post called Projects That Never Get Done, I mentioned that I was starting a long-postponed project to locate, watch, and digitize the home movies from my daughter’s childhood. Later that year, I wrote again about the project in Down Memory Lane. The ultimate goal was to rid myself of the video cameras on which we had taken those movies.
I’m happy to say that I have finally finished that project!
Why did this project take 3 years? I never made it a high priority, so I let long stretches of time go by without making any progress. Then it would become difficult to start up again because I would forget what had already been done.
I got the videotapes off to the digitizing company shortly after I wrote the second blog post. That was in September 2017. It took the company a few months before they finished the job and returned the finished product. Then it took me a few months to review the work they did to ensure that the quality was good.
Unfortunately, some of the transfers were not good, so in March of 2018, I returned some disks to them to have them redone. Again, it took a few months for them to finish it and send it back. So that brings us to later in 2018.
The box sat in my living room for another year, practically becoming part of the decor. Finally, towards the end of 2019, I announced to my husband that we were getting this project finished. Over the next few nights, we sat down and watched the re-transferred videos, enjoying them all over again. Satisfied that the quality was good, we put the box, the tapes, and the DVDs away at last. I delivered the video camera, the camera bag, and some unused tapes to the thrift shop this morning.
What was most irritating to me about dragging that project on for three years was not even that it had become a permanent part of my living room. It was that I didn’t feel like I could move on to any of my other personal projects until that one was done. But now I can start checking the others off the list.
If any of my clients told me this story, I would advise them to add one small task from this project to their to-do list weekly. But like the shoemaker’s children, I’m often the last to benefit from my own professional advice!
I hope this story will motivate you to finish up a project that has been sitting out for so long that it has become part of your decor.
Sharon– what a great story. Congrats on getting this done and not giving up. I wish sometimes that we could see a time line through a crystal ball. Maybe that would change our perspective and make us make better time management choices!
Thanks, John. If I had seen this timeline when I first started, I would have thought my crystal ball was on the blink!