What if I told you that your obstacle is not the task itself? It’s to start working on it.
1. Start Early
It doesn’t matter when you finish a task. Your deadlines and your goals don’t matter unless you are in college. A lot of people have goals and deadlines, and they still don’t get things done. They say they want to start a business, start going to the gym, or start looking for a better job. But they don’t. Why? Because they don’t take the first step. And starting is the easiest step. If you can start an argument, you can start to work on yourself.
If you want to go to the gym, what is the first step that you need to take? It’s to get your gym clothes. You don’t even have to work out. Try getting your gym clothes and getting to the gym. Then working out will be the easiest part because you are already there, and it would take less effort to workout than to go home.
It’s true that taking that first step is not enough. Most people who start their own businesses do not succeed and their companies fail. But think about other people who didn’t even take that first step. They did not fail because they didn’t even start.
My company almost failed several times, but it made me work harder and I survived. Failure is a part of the process. You have to fail to succeed. People who fail the most also succeed the most. And yet I always hear someone say: “I fail in life. I fail in relationships. I fail at everything.” No you don’t. You can’t fail if you don’t try it at least a 1,000 times. As Stephen McCranie said: “The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.”
2. Break Large Tasks Into Smaller Tasks
You can’t eat an entire pizza in one bite. And you shouldn’t. It’s 2,000 calories. You will enjoy it more if you eat it one small piece at a time. The same way smaller tasks are easier for your brain to process, easier to plan, and easier to execute. The very first smaller task is to take the first step and to start working on it.
If you are having trouble breaking up your tasks, try an app like ClickUp. Create a timeline, but don’t concentrate on deadlines. Concentrate on the system. Your smallest tasks could be as little as 1 hour or 30 minutes long. You can create multiple tasks with the same name and check them off as you complete them.
If you have multiple conflicting tasks, try to prioritize the most difficult ones because they will pay off the most. They only seem difficult because you have no experience working on them. Once you start spending more time on these tasks and break them into smaller tasks, they will become easy. As Brian Tracy said, “If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.”
3. Done is Better Than Perfect
You can work on your task forever and never get it done. A lot of people get into the never-ending cycle of trying to perfect a product before ever releasing it. Some companies spend millions of dollars on things that never make it to market.
75% of business and IT executives expect their project to fail. It’s not surprising considering that one third of all projects are not completed on time or on budget. At least they get started, and these executives known that iterations are more important than the first version of the product. It is usually not them who is getting fired, but sometimes it is.
You have to have an MVP, a minimum viable product, and you have to release it sooner rather than later.
When I started my business I was not worried about what I was going to be doing 5 years later. And for every project that I’m working on, I don’t care what the final product will be. All I care about how much time it will take me to release that first version of the product. If I can save time by hiring someone else, I will do that, but if I can do it faster myself, then I will do it myself.
If I can have a complete product in one month instead of 6 months, that’s ideal. One week is even better. That product could be completely useless, and then you can move on to something else. Google does this all the time. Just look at Google Graveyard for the list of products that Google killed.
4. Keep Improving It
You have to keep improving your product or service. You can’t release it once and forget about it. You can’t put it on autopilot. You have to get feedback from your customers and keep improving it based on their feedback. And if it’s a service, you can improve your service the same way. Anything can be improved, even your life.
If you are working on yourself, you can go to the gym. You have to challenge yourself. You have to challenge your body. The best exercise at the gym is the one you’ve never done. It’s the same for your brain.
Thomas Edison said he did not fail 1,000 times to invent the light bulb. He said it took him 1,000 steps. He did not invent it from scratch. There were different designs already including one by Joseph Swan. Edison took his design and improved it. He was the first to come up with a practical and inexpensive light bulb. That’s what matters. Once you can get the product out, you can improve on it. His first version of the light bulb was nothing like the one we use today.
If you started working on a project and you broke it down into multiple smaller tasks. Now you’ve done some of them and you are stuck. What do you do?
You ask for help. It’s easy to do. You can ask someone’s opinion, watch my YouTube video, or read a book. People usually do not like to ask for help. You think that if you can’t do it yourself, then you might as well give up. There is no big task that’s been completed in the world that involved one person and one person only. Can one person build a spaceship and land it on Mars? It’s impossible because it would involve many people to plan and execute, and to not fuck it up. And you don’t want to be that one person who fucks it up.
It’s the same for you. The bigger the task, the more resources you need to help you accomplish it. You don’t want to eat the whole pizza by yourself.