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Stacy Cashmore
Stacy Cashmore

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Know your target, but focus on the next step

A few weeks ago I saw a great post by the wonderful Geepaw Hill about making value faster by taking much smaller steps. The idea that in order to produce value quickly we need to take the smallest steps, allowing us to change direction any time we need.

I've used this idea in the past (kind of) - as I mentioned in a previous post.

But I'm not going to talk about that again here.

No, today I want to talk about cycling. In order to get fit I've started cycling - I'm trying to build up the distance that I can do and it's, er, not easy.

I've gotten up to 37km at the moment. Quite decent for someone who has only been doing it a few weeks - but it's really hard!

And so I don't cycle 37km in one go. I cycle in steps, not easy, but more managable than 37km. I have points where I can change my route and cut it short.

So I have the option of:

  • 5km
  • 10km
  • 15km
  • 20km
  • 25km
  • 30km
  • 34km
  • 37km

Now I'm no longer having to pump myself up for a 37km ride. I'm doing 5km. At the that point I just need to decide that I am going to make it to the next decision point, and then decide what to do based on how much my body is complaining then.

For me it works. I can force myself to do another couple of KM far easier than I can force myself to do it all in one go. Not easy, but easier.

So it was with my website. It took me an age to get started because I was trying to make a complete, amazing site in one go.

In the end I started to just take the small steps.

  • Deploy a scaffolded app to the domain
  • Add some info about me
  • Add links to my blog posts
  • Add links to my pictures
  • Make it look pretty
  • Display blog posts on own page
  • etc.

I think that it's also worth noting that within these small steps were lots of other smaller steps, to get them complete without it being a multi day task. Especially making it pretty, CSS and I are not friends 🤣

Suddenly things are quite doable! I can learn what I need, at the pace that I need, and just spend a couple of hours at a time improving one little thing. It's not done yet, it's won't be finished for a while. Maybe ever, I may reach a point where I decide that it's good enough and I don't need to continue.

And that won't be a failure of making what I wanted at the start. It will be a success of building something that I am so satisfied with that I can stop and still be happy!

So when you have that large project, don't try to look at the whole thing and get overwhelmed. What are the smallest steps that you can do?

Have a read of the post that inspired this ramble and see where it takes you.

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