How do you maintain momentum?

Wayne Smallman
8 replies
If planning is a science, then timing is an art, and the more complex a plan is, the more critical time — and timing — becomes. So it's vital I maintain momentum, or risk the slump, the sag, or the flop! Low places that are difficult to climb out from, and are places I hate to be. This is a Sunday morning here in the north of England, and I've been flat out, cramming as much work as is feasible before I go for a 9-10k walk at 11am. I run multiple threads of things, where each delivers something on short times scales — like improving the UX of a feature, refactoring some code to test a new thing I've learned and so on — but contribute to that greater whole. Where the slump, the sag, and the flop come into things is when I have to reach out, ask for help, need authorization, require some essential piece of data or information, and I wait — then wait, and do some more waiting. I mitigate against this by switching to some other thread, to keep the momentum going. I get it, no-one but me works on Smallman Standard Time! So, how do you maintain momentum?

Replies

Building products one commit at a time
Ship daily. The most productive I've been is when I focus on making some progress over period of time. You'll be able to see progress each day, plus if you focus on delivering something every day you'll start planning in advance what you can achieve. Even if it's something very small like changing a favicon or changing 1 line of text. I have a separate list of small things I can fix or change with low energy. Just make sure you make progress. Not every product allows you to ship daily (mobile or desktop apps), but even then you can commit code. One side effect of shipping daily is burn out, you just need to know when to take a long weekend or a week off to recharge.
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Man behind the Under Cloud.
Hi @gerlv, I run multiple threads of things, where each delivers something on short times scales — like changing a favicon, as an example — but contribute to that greater whole.
Maker of Draft
For me, I need to make regular progress to not lose momentum. This can come in the form of shipping new code, or in brainstorming new features. Or, when I am building something for myself, actually using the product I am building. This almost always gives me new energy for the project. For the case where you are waiting on authorization or information, I would try switching to a different part of the project that you can work on. Add tests, refactor sloppy code, improve the build process, write documentation, etc. For me, it doesn't matter what it is, I just need to see some small amount of progress regularly. Good luck!
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Man behind the Under Cloud.
Hi @caleblenoir, as explained to @gerlv, I run multiple threads of things, where each delivers something on short times scales. We're the same in that we both use our own respective products.
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Just one thing. Remind yourselves of what that goal means to you. Follow it as if your life is at stake.
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Man behind the Under Cloud.
Hi @rahul_lakhanpal, the Under Cloud to me is that level of commitment, in that a lot is resting on it!
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