I've been busy recently...
January came and went with the initiation of several big projects - stuff I didn't think I would finish by February...
But, somehow, I'm on track to ship (subscribe to my blog to get insider sneak peaks and first releases of awesome content, products and projects before everyone else).
Here are a few things I did that helped me focus my effort so I could create some great stuff I really think will help you on your own journey:
#1. Establish a Deadline
No matter what happens, the projects I'm working on WILL ship.
Maybe that means I don't leave the computer the weekend before they ship, but so be it.
As long as you set a ship date - and understand that shipping isn't an option - your project will ship.
#2. Identify Perfect...and then Identify Good Enough
Perfect is what you strive for. But good enough is what you NEED.
It's important to identify what makes your project perfect, but perfect rarely happens. If you don't know what good enough looks like, you will spend time spinning wheels trying to reach the unattainable.
On the other hand, if you identify good enough beforehand, and the project is good enough, you can still ship on time. And shipping is what matters.
Thrashing is all about tearing apart your idea to find the holes, the missing pieces, and the weaknesses of your project.
Thrashing is brutal.
When we sit down to really understand what and why we're doing something, or how to put our project together, it means we inspect every part of who WE are. If there's not clear solution to a part of your project, it's easy to feel terrible.
Thrashing is essential. If you don't thrash, you'll never find your voice, manifest your vision, or ship your final product.
Thrashing occurs throughout the project, but when you spend serious time and effort thrashing in the beginning, you'll produce a better product and run into less trouble along the way.
(here is a great article by Jonathan Fields on Thrashing)
Chunking is taking the thrashed version of your idea and creating individual ship dates for each component/piece/part.
I like to chunk down pieces of the project into 1-3 hour intervals. This means every piece of the puzzle I can accomplish within a 3 hour time-frame.
This allows me to realistically set a ship date that know I can reach it.
-> "What if I don't know how long something will take?"
I rarely know how long something will take. But I've learned something through my experiences: a 30 minute blog post WILL take 3 hours.
That eBook you think you can write in a 7 days WILL take 1 - 2 months.
The manuscript you're working on, the one you think will take a few months...give yourself a year.
My rule of thumb: When in doubt, multiply by 6.
That's right: actually shipping is essential to shipping your project successfully.
But how many people actually ship?
Everything here is focused on shipping, because shipping matters (see item #2). Even if iteration 1.0 doesn't turn out the way you want it to, it's out there, and you can refine and re-release later.
The goal, of course, is to thrash and chunk in such a way that you create a stellar product and ship something incredible the first round.
But if you have to ship something less than what you planned, ship anyway (you'll learn more than you would otherwise, I promise).
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