One of the most important things that you should do for yourself is to create a personal timeline for your “big” projects that you’re focusing all that time and attention on dreaming about. As you know, it’s about execution so dreaming is not enough.
You have to simply set a start date, commit, and then move forward. This is how I do all my projects, even if it starts as being fairly arbitrary. It’s not about being exact with your dates but rather that you have them to begin with.
There’s just something powerful when you sit down, write it out, and look at it seriously. Oh snap! I have to actually get this done by this date! Magic.
Set critical points that will create and display the development of momentum.
For example, if you’ve got a web-based project, application, or even a startup you may follow this simple structure to start off with:
- Jan 1 – Domain purchased.
- Jan 15 – Business incorporated, paper work completed.
- Feb 1 – Business Model finished, product development started.
- Feb 15 – Business plan finished.
- Mar 1 – Advisors selected, committed.
- Mar 15 – Marketing completed, website started.
- Apr 1 – Website done, Facebook, Twitter setup. Tweeted. Updated.
- Apr 15 – Product development finished.
- May 1 – Ship. Start selling.
- Aug 1 – Refine Financial model.
- Nov 1 – Refine Biz plan, model.
- Dec 1 – Plan XMas party for staff of 2. Congrats, you survived year #1.
- Dec 15 – Plan for next years roadmap2 plan for big things.
This is a simplified version but you get the idea and of course this is flexible depending on your industry, the size of the application, and tons of other signals and inputs. But the point is still the same: You need a plan, a schedule to attack. And you need to build one today.
No time to waste. Here are some things to get you going:
- Create a basic outline of everything that you think you will need in the first 12 months.
- Be explicit and practical. Even if it’s hard, just guess. You can always adjust.
- Share it with others. Get accountable. Get some help to make sure you meet your deadlines.
- Create momentum. Always.
- Have fun.