Are you familiar with the 100 page rule? Life is short and books are many, so rather than persevering with a book you’re not enjoying, you should give it 100 pages minus your age, and if it hasn’t grabbed you … cut your losses and move on.
I made just one new year’s resolution for 2022, and I’m vague on how to set about achieving it: I want to be less completionist. I want to be wiser about the time I sink into things.
Thoroughness is a virtue, sure – until it becomes a superstition. I don’t have to complete that TV series I’m not enjoying anymore; I don’t have to read everything on a topic before I express an opinion; I don’t have to cross every item off the to-do list just because it’s there staring at me, beckoning, taunting.
Theologian Ronald Rolheiser says that in this life, all symphonies remain unfinished. As the school and work year gear up again – with so many feeling utterly unrefreshed after the strange Omicron summer we’ve had – with over-busyness and burnout chronic conditions of our time – this seems like a good moment to get more comfortable with our limits.
In 2022, I want to practise the Sabbath more consistently. I want to reject hurry and create margin. I want to accept when a task of middling importance has been done well enough, even if the result isn’t dazzling. And although it goes against every fibre of my completionist soul, I want to abandon more books on page 62.