The middle. The in-between. The grey area. That phase of a project between you starting and you finishing. It’s a graveyard. It’s where a lot of ideas and projects die. I’ve been there. Years ago I did several personal projects that go to the grey area… and I lost momentum. I lost interest. I saw all the problems, and I just gave up. After all, I had a job and activities and plenty of other excuses as to why this wouldn’t work.
What I realize now is that I lost the momentum. I lost the energy and vision to see those projects through to the end. I’m back now attempting to do it again. But, this time I plan to keep the momentum going. I plan to get to the finish line and do what I set out to do. It’s been working - and I think it all centers around 3 main things that are required to keep your momentum going.
1. You need a Goal
Set the goal to achieve your vision. It has to be a goal you can be proud of. It has to be meaningful and it has to be hard. If it’s easy, then it’s probably not worth doing. Struggle is part of getting to the finish line.
2. You need Ridiculous Deadlines
This weekend ended up being one of the most productive in the last few months for me. All because I have an important trip coming up this week. While I don’t think of myself as a procrastinator, I did notice that my focus and execution were a lot more effective as I knew I had to get some work out before the trip. Setting an aggressive deadline can get your project moving. If you can’t hold yourself accountable - get someone else to do it. Talk about what you want to do this weekend - and ask people to keep you on that goal.
3. Myopic Vision
Shutting off the peripheral vision and focusing on whats in front of you is the last piece of the puzzle. Anxiety and worrying about things you can’t control can slow things down. You tend to overthink things - considering every angle - spending time on figuring out why something won’t work. Instead - if you focus on the task in front of you, focus on getting it done, step by step, piece by piece, you’ll eventually get to the finish line. Leo Babauta of Zen Habits talks about setting 3 MIT’s (Most Important Tasks) for each day and working on the them first thing in the morning. Get to the important stuff before the email and the coffee and the distractions. That myopic vision will pay off
While nothing above is a new concept, sometimes you need that reminder to keep going. Momentum is necessary in a long term project - and I think above all believing that you can achieve something meaningful will be the main driving force. You’ll stumble along the way, but you can get there if you got the 3 elements above in check.
This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking.