How to Go from Zero to 60 on your projects.

December 23, 2010

How to Go from Zero to 60 on your projects.


I recently had a break through. I was staring at my list of 2011 goals, in sheer terror. It was one of those moments where I could only sit there. It wasn’t as if someone handed me this list of goals. I set them myself. So there was no one to blame.  I couldn’t pretend I was the victim of an oppressive boss.  And my email inbox was empty, so there was nothing left to distract me…  It was just me and the goals.


So I reached out rather than suffered alone.  And in a conversation with friend and coach, Shelli Johnson we created solutions to the problem.


Here are the tips to go from 0-60 on your project.


NOTE: This assumes you are actually excited about what you’re doing. Remember there is only one answer when you ask yourself if you want to do something. The answer is“Hell yes!” If that’s not the answer, then you need to drop it, get someone else to do it, or get a new job.


For those with the passion, here’s how you get rollin…

1.       Focus on the High Leverage

Not all projects are equal. High leverage means the ratio of input to output is extremely high. Put a little in, get a ton out of it.  That can mean picking venture with higher margins, a project where you already have the resources ready to go, or look at your project list. Which are the most important ones?  Zone in on those, and use remainder time for the others.

2.       Find the Overlap

If you have a ton of different projects, release yourself from the belief that they must all be completed. That can take a lot of the burden off, and for those that remain, we can use pattern recognition to see cross-overs.  Look at similar projects that can be combined, or results of one project that can feed another.  Find the synergies.

3.       Share ownership   

You never have to go it alone. Think about who else can help. Think beyond co-workers. Think of mentors, interns, partners, advisors.  Don’t carry this alone. There are very few things in this world we can do alone.

4.       Check Yo Self

Richard Branson said working out gives him an extra three hours of productivity. At a minimum, take a walk and gain perspective. Seriously, you’re most likely not saving lives, and soon enough you will completely forget about this moment entirely, so why stress over it?  Once you start realize how silly you’re being, productivity comes back.

5.       Create a sense of progress

Some of the best executing companies in the world (like IDEO), make their ideas very visible and track their progress. One easy technique is to use kanban boards.  It’s important that they inspire as much as they remind.

6.       Calendar it out

Face it. Your time is limited. Get realistic – put down the deadline and the major milestones on calendar. You’ll feel better, and you’ll get real with yourself on what’s really possible and what’s not.

7.       Make sure to celebrate

Okay, this one may sound silly but it’s really related to productivity.  Celebrate the wins! Have a party, play a theme song, jump up and down, do shots…whatever you gotta do. I admit to not knowing the science behind it. I just know it works (and it feels good).



That’s it. I’d love to hear your comments about what works for you.