Sometimes life is a fight.
I don’t like to think in those terms because it sounds negative, but there are scenarios in which life goes that way.
Who’s not suffering delays in their projects? Hands up!
I suffer this disease since I was a child. I’ve concluded it’s a chronic one. No need to experiment any longer. The theory has been proved. It won’t be a hypothesis anymore.
I have dozens of delayed projects, but I will tell you the last one I’m in to see if we can, together, draw some conclusions. I’m sure we will.
I want to launch a website to talk about all these silly things I’m sharing with you on Medium.
I’m pretty excited about it because it’s one of my life’s dreams. To have my own place to write and share content. I’ve been thinking about it for years, and this year, in August, I decided to go for it.
I always say you need deadlines to accomplish your goals. No deadline, no outcome. Be sure of that.
As you may think, this site will be as simple as possible and, of course, it won’t be among the best ones designed in the history of web development.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it?
I decided to be conservative because one doesn’t deserve extra pressure in life. September the 30th was designated as “DAY D”.
I have to say I hadn’t a clue about WordPress. I’m a computer science engineer, and I’ve programmed in many languages, but I haven’t done so for almost 20 years. This was a beautiful challenge for me: back to my origins.
To make it even more fun, I decided to use DIVI for graphic design because I love design, although I have no clue about making design. I’m just an observer and admirer of it.
No need to go further, as you guess. I moved my deadline to October the 15th. Later on to October the 30th. And, right now, I’ll be very proud if I get it on November the 30th.
Here’s how I’m dealing with the situation.
LESSON 1: Don’t suffer!
Life cannot be based on suffering.
Suffering will cause your performance to drop. It will make you underperform in the rest of your projects. It will affect your personal life. And it won’t make your project move forward.
So, relax, take your time, and think about how you can improve things.
LESSON 2: Make fun of it!
We need to laugh a lot in life.
We’re not here to do projects in a non-sense, non-stop way.
We need to live, enjoy life, try to have as many fun moments and positive sensations as we can.
I always make fun of this situation, saying this:
“A project without delay is not a serious project”.
This point of view will make you relax.
Relaxation will bring concentration, focus, analysis, organization, and the best performance ratio you can achieve.
Stressed people don’t produce at all.
LESSON 3: Think in the long term
I’m a long-term thinker for all aspects of my life: finances, relationships, projects…
Nothing significant has been done on a short-term basis.
Long term gives you visualization, time to think about strategies, time to make corrections, avoiding obstacles, and making things based on our rationality.
What’s a 2–3 month’s delay in a 10–15 years long term project?
I’ve been all my life without a website. Am I able to wait 2–3 months more?
Of course, I am. It doesn’t matter how much I want it. The key is launching a website I’m proud of.
- It’s something I will develop on my own, without any help, starting from scratch.
- It’s not only the website.
- There are many more things, feelings, meaning, and emotions on it.
- Let’s give it the time it deserves.
Long term also takes the pressure out of you.
That always translates into better performance and avoids suffering.
Long term gives you peace and calm, essential ingredients for a healthy life. Remember: we only have one life.
LESSON 4: Look for moments in which you can make sprints
I love habits, and I like to create habits in my life.
They give you discipline and grit at the beginning.
In the long term, they’re able to change your identity, what you are, because we’re no more than the habits we do.
When I start to create a habit, I always use the same technique: to practice the habit for a very short time, but every day.
What works for habits doesn’t work for projects.
I tried to work on this project every day for an hour. It didn’t work at all.
My day is full of activities, other projects, other habits, and routines. It wasn’t easy to fit in this project.
For projects is better, in my case, to make non-stop sprints of 5–6 hours in a row.
And that’s what I did.
Last weekend I made two 6-hours sprints each day, and I did really make improvements and progress in the project.
So I’m decided to work every weekend on it.
I’ve changed my mindset because it seems you’re doing more by working every day. Your brain thinks: “Hey man, you’re really into this project because you’re every day doing something”.
It’s unreal. It’s just a mirage. Fooling oneself.
I’ve felt much more proud last Sunday than in the previous two months. And it’s not just that proud sensation. The results are there. I can see them. I have clear pieces of evidence.
This is the way to overcome projects.
LESSON 5: Evaluate the importance
You can say: “Paco, all this is great, but you’re not feeling pressure from a client. You are not risking anything in this project”.
That’s true… partially.
Here come priorities.
I’ve set the priority for this project. I’ve admitted to my mind that I won’t finish it on the date, but I’ve also committed myself to finish it.
You should never convert a delay into an endless way of creating infinite projects that never finish. That’s a mistake.
If you do so, you’ll feel frustrated, insecure. You will feel you shouldn’t be proud of yourself. And those are feelings you have to avoid in life.
That’s why it is so important to set priorities. I’ve already set them for this project.
Whenever you set priorities, you start playing the time management issue.
Time is a finite resource, as your energy.
You have to decide where you should put your efforts. If you’re suffering pressure from a client or any other source, that’s a variable to be considered when setting your priorities.
For example, if a more critical project comes to my life and is much more important than this, I will have no choice but to pause it.
That decision will hurt me, but there’s no choice.
We have to admit that and be able to live with it.
Whenever you evaluate your projects’ importance and relevance, you know where to focus on.
Define long time sprints and go for it!
Life is a project in itself.
You have to set priorities, choose how long you’ll dedicate to each task.
Always think on a long term basis. Days or months of delay mean nothing when talking about our whole life.
Laugh, enjoy, and have fun. Sooner or later, all projects finish.