Don’t get me wrong. I do believe in achieving better results through detailed project planning. But I equally believe that if we focus too much on it, and obsess about it, it can become counter-productive. The important thing is to plan out your projects, and start working on them as soon as possible.
If you get stuck in the planning phase, you won’t be advancing any closer to your goals, because you’re only struggling to make the project plan perfect. You’re not focusing on the big picture. There’s always a constant stream of ideas that you can funnel into your project plan, but if you fail to take the steps to actually launch your project, nothing will result from the plan. Project plans can never be perfect, and trust me, they can be polished to infinity if one has the energy for it. This is why you need to take action as soon as possible.
Tell yourself to start today, not tomorrow. Because you can.
Many of us are perfectionists, and we want to wait for the perfect moment to start implementing our ideas and plans. I know I’m guilty of this, because I spent almost three months just planning out the concept for this blog. I bet I could’ve squeezed it to three days if I were super-efficient. Would it have been better that way? Or worse? Well, in the long run, it doesn’t really matter, because planning is a continuous process, and it never ends. A continuous project (such as a blog or a website) is an endless course of cycles that involve infinite instances of planning and implementation. For the developer, a project is never perfect or truly complete.
So, to fight off the temptation to put off the implementation of your plan because you don’t think you’re ready for it yet, try to accept the fact that if you keep on going like this, you will either suffer from a burnout, or you will end up never launching the project. But when you launch a project, there’s no need to get worried, because you’re not actually bringing the planning to an end—you’re just taking it to the next level.
But of course we shouldn’t get too wreckless with launching a project either. It’s good to organize the essentials properly. With Self-Learner, for example, I had a problem with naming. I couldn’t decide what name to choose, because I knew that I’d have to stick with it once I’d make the decision, as I’d also have to register it as a domain name. Branding can be quite an issue in the beginning, but once we get comfortable with a name, it’s better to move on than to remain undecisive in that same situation for weeks, or months.
The process should go as follows:
- Preparing the essentials
- Taking action to execute the plan
- Development (implementing ideas, revising, planning more, etc.)
When you’re preparing the essentials, keep in mind that the faster you take action to execute your plan, the faster you’ll get results. There’s always a chance to revise your plans later, once the intial implementation has been taken care of. What’s important is to produce something that can be revised. If your goal is to earn money from your project, you are only delaying your income stream(s) when you are postponing the launch. Don’t get preoccupied with the initial planning. Be decisive.