My new car has fancy tires. They call them “long run” or something, but it really means super-slick-snow-slider tires. When it snows, this makes even a small task like getting up my somewhat steep driveway fun. The trick is to get going fast enough at the bottom that I can make in the garage; while going slow enough to stop without ramming into the any walls. In preparation for this post, I successfully “burnt rubber” for the first time this week!
Funny thing is, this makes me think about work. Specifically the areas of procrastination and pacing. At SpinWeb, I see creative-types ramming into walls and sliding around on steep hills all the time. Every once in a while, I even whiff that burning smell of a designer peeling out towards a deadline.
As a project manager, I’ve noticed it’s best to go uphill at a steady pace. Faster is not always better. Pace yourself with meetings throughout your week and time spent doing focus-work. Avoid constant stop-and-go speed bursts, or you’ll soon smell something burning (it won’t be your tires).
If you can’t be steady, get a rolling start. This means giving yourself enough time to get in the right mindset when working on a task, or using the “Never finish something you know the end of” model of leaving off on tasks that you can easily pickup on later. The momentum of work your already started can be leveraged to get you going.