Get your project done? Get you unstuck? Get you to what’s next?
Last week, I shared some ideas on the value of getting things done vs. getting them perfect. Of course, we always want to do our best, but sometimes done really is better than perfect.
Today I want to share one of my favorite tools for getting unstuck and getting a project done. Here’s the question I use:
What would be good enough to move forward?
Note that the question is not “how great can I make this” or “what else can I add.” Both of these are great questions to use in some settings. They may help you to really increase the value of a project or product, but they are not the right questions to ask when you are stuck. When you’re stuck and overwhelmed, the last thing you need is to be thinking on adding even more to the project. What may help is a narrowed focus with a realistic idea of what you need. This question will help you get that. You can use this question to just get you moving forward – you can always change your mind at a later point in the project but this will let you get to that later point.
I first heard this question from one of my teachers Lisa Sasevich. I was at a 3-day event where we were composing a talk to use in business promotion. The event was a working bootcamp, and by the end she promised we’d be ready to speak the next day. At one point, we were doing some heads down work, and she asked who was stuck. About a third of the hands went up, and she said those people were not focusing on “good enough to move ahead.”
The people who need your work aren’t looking for perfection and you can’t provide it anyway. What they want is your help, so offer it sooner rather than later and focus on getting it done. When we get stuck in the midst of something, we can get caught up in a trap of not knowing how much to do or what to do first. It all seems important to get exactly right. But by focusing on this one question: What would be good enough to move ahead? you just might pare down that huge list of things you still need to complete your project into a neat, do-able task list.
What techniques do you use to get unstuck?