Notes on how to get started on something new
In internet domain, a lot of companies use 2 weeks sprints as a way of developing their product. These sprints are a list of things which need to get done in 2 weeks - thus becoming a TAG (time and amount goal). People put their head down and work on this with few distractions - atleast that’s the utopian ideologoy behind it. Although, I did not realise it and it took a friend to point this out, but I have been doing the same thing recently in my non-work life as well to good effect.
It started with reading. Some time back, I read more in a month than I did in the preceding year. And this was not passive online consumption jumping from one article to another but a more involved, active reading of a good book chosen after either a careful consideration or at an implusive whim. I carried a book wherever I went and read everywhere I could - while waiting to catch the metro, in the metro, on the rickshaw, in some spare moments at a friend’s place, in a cafe. This desire wasn’t forced upon by anyone but came from within and it felt great. This period of complete flow and being in the zone ended with me having read a bunch of great books, gaining new perspectives and learning a lot.
Then came a series of (still unpublished) articles which I have fondly compiled in the form of an ebook. I wrote on the lessons I learnt while running my first startup so that I can use those for my next venture. I used to work on it whenever I could. Scribbling down notes in a notebook while riding to work in the passenger seat of my friend’s car, at work whenever I could sneak out some time on Evernote, or at home, as soon as I returned back from office without caring to change my clothes or getting ready for dinner. This helped me finish off the first draft of my book in a relatively short amount of time.
Side Note: If you want to get started on writing - you can try out some of the softwares I use - Notebook/Evernote for note taking. Q10 for writing. Scrivener for giving structure.
Then came the designing bit. Since I can’t sketch or draw to save my life, I resorted to learning designing softwares to help me bring my thoughts to creation. I put in two weeks of focused designing ignoring almost everything else, learning online courses, soaking up as much as I could. I practised and produced two works which I am proud of.
It also happened with Cooking. 2 weeks, mom’s recipes and I transformed from someone who fretted about what to eat for dinner to being able to feed a party of 2 pretty well.
You catch the drift with where I am going with this.
These short of intervals of time with extreme focus helped me reach a level of which I could be proud of. And important thing is that none of it was very deliberate, it was just something that I felt I should be doing and went ahead with it. I had gotten into a flow.
The point I am trying to make is if you want to level up in a particular field, a short sprint can help you achieve that quickly. As I write this, I realise that there is a counterpoint to this where people say slow and steady wins the race which is actually quite true. But, I am talking about new tasks which require an initial thrust, the first few scary and unpredictable steps. These sprints will help you cross that first hurdle.
Did you like what you read so far? You can subscribe to my mailing list to get updates on new posts. I am not sure how frequently I’ll send you an email but it will never be more often than once a week.
Appreciate your time. Thanks!