You don’t design multi-stage rocket ships, but you can use the same jettisoning technique in your work. You could even use it to help you start new projects anytime you need.
How can we start anything new?
Small wins, pragmatic goals and dropping previous projects – these three tactics can help you move forward.
Small and consistent steps
Aim too high and you will never start. Better to take a sideways approach. Trick yourself into doing something new. Move forward every day, whether it is creation, research or documenting the work.
A thousand small steps are much easier than one giant thousand-steps jump. Even framing the work as a project can make it easier to start.
Don’t start a product, start just a project
White pages make writing hard. You better outline instead. That’s not writing. But after that, you don’t have a white page anymore. Writing becomes easier.
- Instead of using databases, use Excel
- Instead of Word, start with Notepad
- Be bold and use Paint
Once the page is not empty anymore, you can improve the content. Step by step, you get closer to what you need. How to gain speed, though?
Jettison used stages
To get out of the atmosphere, rockets need to drop some weight. Used stages are not useful anymore, and they are heavy. Like your first version. It was good to start you, but now it’s obsolete. And it slows you down. Drop it.
Create new versions of your project to move forward. Likewise, create new projects using what you learned from previous ones. Jettison failed ideas and dead ends to gain speed.
But why should I start anything new?
To move forward you need to learn new things and improve your work. But learning only by reading is daydreaming. Learn by doing instead. Don’t start a big project. Instead, do something practical with what you just learned.
Can old stages be reused?
SpaceX did it. You can also reuse previous stages for your new project. Just don’t make it a priority. This is called premature optimization. It should only come after creation. If you do it too early, it can tamper your project start.