A couple particularly interesting parts of this article and the study they talk about:
“We need to have belief in ourselves – some kind of expectation that we can do something. And when we’re closer to finishing something that we had previously failed to achieve, then that optimism increases.”
I often am in the situation where, after breaking up a project into chunks, I find that in each chunk there are more steps that I didn’t consider or steps that arise because unexpected circumstances arose.
as just one example: in the hour or 2 I set aside for completing a task, I might get 5 minutes in when I can’t continue until I finish another step - maybe something broke that I have to go back and fix, or maybe once I’m actually doing it, I can see something else is required. If I’m lucky, I will end this time I set aside where I started - ready to get to work on this task, no closer to completing the larger project.
I often feel anxiety to stop working on a project, especially when I know what I should do next. I think the feeling is that since I don’t have anything blocking me now, and while I am viewing this work as moving me closer to my goal, I need to get as much of it done as I can while I can. I guess, so that when I do come to a “good stopping point” I can feel satisfied with the work I just did. I definitely don’t feel good when I don’t feel any closer to completing a project after having just worked on it for 4 hours.
Part of something I’m trying to work on most recently is managing expectations of how long things take, how to properly account for every single step I might need to do, and how to account for the completely unexpected - so that I can hopefully reduce the number of instances like I described. (This is all very difficult to do)
The 2nd part was:
“When an interruption prevents individuals from achieving a particular goal or task, we find that they make faster and less thoughtful decisions in completely unrelated areas”
this ^^^ 100%
I definitely find the need for a “win” when I get really stuck on a project, and will just want to check anything off my list to feel like I’ve actually did something.