The Art of Getting It Done AKA The Turtle and the Hare AKA Just Do It
I have turned a new leaf when it comes to creative output. I have decided that my only goal from here on out, Monday through Friday, week in and week out, is to do something. One thing. One finished thing. Whether it’s an article, a design, a web site, a marketing plan, a video, or a song, I just gotta get one thing done each day.
The beautiful thing about this is that there is always something I’m interested in doing each day, oftentimes something that I’ve wanted to do for a while. And as it sinks in that doing one thing is really quite doable, I find the momentum beginning to build. I’m finding myself taking on bigger day-long projects, stretching the limits of what I can do in just one day.
In the past, I had a lot of big plans (I still do of course). These big plans were of course well outside the scope of what could be done in one day. These big plans seemed to always be hanging out with my homie procrastination. One day I will get that big idea done. One day I will make it happen. Now, what’s new on youtube?
Not no more. You got 24 hours and the clock is ticking. You better find something that’s doable in that time frame and get it done. And the amazing thing is that when you are only focused on one thing, you can actually do an awful lot–a whole project from beginning to end–in just one day.
Now I will certainly agree that this idea in some way limits the scope of undertakings, but I have two counterpoints that have become increasingly compelling to me.
1. Limitation is creativity’s best friend. Much like necessity is the mother of invention, certain limitations force creativity into a shape. Creativity is such a huge thing, the stuff that life is made of, the stuff of infinite possibilities, and I find that imposing some sort of limitation allows me to more readily crystallize that infinity into form.
2. I can always take on projects that are larger in addition to a daily project. For instance, since something like writing this article counts as a daily output, and takes less than 30 minutes to complete, there is still plenty of time left in the day for other projects. But making sure I get something out day after day really keeps me motivated and enthused. And I’m sure all the artists out there know that staying motivated and enthused is often a task in and of itself.
The beauty of this, after having only begun this experiment a couple of weeks ago, is that I’m seeing the beauty of it already. Day after day, I do something, and it’s already beginning to add up. Think of the beauty that will have accrued after a year. It’s stunning.
Also, I have found that there is absolutely nothing like “stage time” to increase your skill in anything–whether it’s dance or design or writing or video editing. Releasing something everyday is such an incredibly amazing way to accrue experience that I am finding my skill increasing at a speed well beyond what I previously thought possible.
They often say that it’s the little things in life that are important. It’s the little things that add up. So while I’m quite proud of creating a robot dance instructional DVD as well as a breakdance DVD, it is these small projects that will assure that the quality of the next big release is ever-improving.
Nike said, Just Do It. Nike is a multinational corporation that operates in a manner that I do not resonate with. But they sure have a kick ass slogan. Peace out peoples.
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