Productivity hack: Start more

This week, I’m blogging about a few productivity hacks I use to help me get more stuff done. They’re just small little tweaks you can do to boost your productivity a little.

START MORE

I’ve mentioned this before on my blog: I’m a good starter; I’m not always a good finisher. I love the “blank page” freshness of a new project. So I start it. I get it partially done, and then I leave it behind as I go on to something else. I tend to drop things when the new car smell wears off of a project. Seth Godin talked about in his book The Dip, in which he encouraged readers (somewhat unhelpfully, in my opinion) to figure out whether they should push through or quit.

So I have a bunch of projects that were once enthralling but are now collecting dust. So if you are a starter like me, and you struggle with finishing stuff, this is a useful hack:

Start stuff more often. But here’s the catch: Start aspects of your existing project more often. This has proven itself to be incredibly useful when I’m writing a book — which is a very tough project for people who aren’t good finishers. I have started a ton of books but struggled to finish any of them. Until I incorporated this hack: Instead of thinking of starting the project just once; I think of each project as several smaller projects, each needing to be started. So in the case of a book, I don’t start a book. Instead, I start the book outline. Then I start each chapter outline. Then I start writing a section of a chapter. Suddenly, I’m not looking at one 50,000 word book anymore. Instead, I’m looking at one hundred 500 word “sections”. That is so much easier!

I’ve used a book as an example because it is a constant reality for me… but it’s not the only thing that I use this hack on. I’ve used it on website redesigns, business creation, sales letter copywriting, and even arduously long home renovations.

For starters, this is a powerful hack because it turns one project into a number of smaller, easier-to-start projects, and that helps to keep the momentum up.

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