How To Slow Down To Speed Up Your Projects

So where were we?

Last week I was crying onto the page that the world did not know where it was going. Mainly, what’s also going on with my projects and plans.

You can read or listen to it here.

This week we stopped and looked where we are and rebooted with more focus and energy.

We had to slow down to speed up with our plans.

Personally, I had to remind myself where I’m going in the long term to connect with what is important right now.

My ‘Me Too’ movement

Thank you to all the people who emailed me. 

Your common theme of replies was like ‘me too’ or ‘I’m wobbly too’ or ‘confused too’ – it was good to acknowledge the mental strain. 

I thought the strain was because we don’t know where we are going in the world or could not get a haircut. 

But another mate thought it was because as a nation, the ‘lock-down holiday’ is over and we have to go back to work. 

How To Slow Down To Speed Up

1. We stopped and looked at the way we work and time-boxed stuff again. Scroll down for more on this.

2. I went back to all the vision stuff, five, ten and twenty-year vision. Then the goals I needed popped out by magic, I reconnected with where I am going.

3. Some of you emailing and saying ‘me too’ – it is always good to know you are not the only one thinking something, it gives permission for your next move for your plans. 

Getting anchored again 

I checked my 12 Week Year plan, and I went back to these two resources:

So Dan is living to 156, and I am happy to say out loud I’m living to 126. 

It means I have 80 something years left to: 

– Travel the world with my family. 

– To write books, blogs and tweets.

– Interview thousands of people for podcasts and articles.

– Eradicate racism. 

– Cook a lot of meals for people in our home. 

My son tells people his Dad is going to live to 126 – I am sure it scares them.

When I am 126, my son will be around 90 years old – I always picture us cooking a BBQ together in Tigre, Buenos Aires at that age – I love that image. 

I have a picture on my computer to remind me where I am going – you can see it here.

“I have a theme!”

Don’s course recommends having a life theme, I’d forgotten this part. 

I remembered I had one – it’s a bit like ‘your why’.

‘Find your voice and help others find theirs’ is my theme.

I got it from Stephen Covey’s 8th Habit book more than twelve years ago.

I remember talking to Julie Hall in a bar in Soho in late 2009, she’d recently watched a TED talk by a guy named Simon something. 

He was talking about ‘Start With Why‘ it had already got over FIFTY THOUSAND VIEWS – wow! 

Now it has 50 million – that is a lot of wow.

Don’t boil the ocean.

A bit of me wants to puke when people talk about their mission and meaning. 

There is only so much navel-gazing we can do before someone shows up and needs some work done. 

I’ve been part of workgroups over the years where I want to pull the pin on a hand grenade when people talk about values. 

And when I’m not in action, I get depressed, feel sorry for myself and start comparing myself to others. 

When I am in action, it is much more painful being in the moment, but stuff happens, even if it does not work, I still feel alive and learn. 

BTW – values are essential.

They are so essential we run ‘The Coworking Values podcast.’ 

It is the practical application of the coworking values in real life.

Simple little things like:

– Having a work culture where your staff want to stay and are not crying in the stairwell every day. 

– Where your business makes a profit but does not f@

– Don’t only show up when you want something.

– Are inclusive, accessible and anti-racist like >> this by Cobot.

– You are not the largest, biggest, longest or leading – you are helpful. 

– How to build a coworking space that serves the local community it is part of.

Simon says

To get back to Simon Sinek, but you have to know I am exhausted by Simon Sinek fanboys and girls these days. 

Everyone loves to rant about ‘the why’, but I’ve only met a small handful of people, like my mate Lena who put it into action for real. 

Simon made a point early on about people think they have to ‘screw people’ or ‘be tight’ to be good at business. 

He then gave examples of companies with a higher share value over thirty years. 

The higher share value companies had taken care of staff and kept them longer.

Everyone Always

What has become evident in COVID is a coworking or shared work-spaces that ONLY rents a desk are dead in the water. 

While the spaces with a close community are alive. 

One of the main challenges is keeping members connected, we don’t meet in the kitchen so much these days! 

Their members are willing to support the coworking space as it navigates COVID. 

Changes to our work

Last week we were launching our business. 

BTW the work we are doing is everything in Marketing Made Simple, which is a lot of attention to detail – which does make my head hurt. 

Every day felt like we were charging down the pitch to see where we would end up.

Then like Toyota – we stopped the assembly line. 

We took a morning to work out where we were, and we made a simple change. 

We time-boxed everything and made a backlog. 

It was that simple

We spent Friday morning allocating projects to the same day every week and ONLY working on them then. 

I’m sharing this because:

1. I already knew to do this, and so did everyone else. No one had brought it up, because we ‘did not have time for anything else’. 

2. I felt 1000% lighter – right away! I’d been mentally overloaded and confused for a couple of weeks.

3. It cleared the path. One reason I’m a fanboy of the 12 Week Year is that it ‘gives you permission’ to not think about something until it comes up in the plan. 

4 We committed to running our Nifty project board in a ‘Scrum‘ way and reviewing together every Friday morning. 

Read – Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

Weekly plan:

Monday is writing email newsletters day.

Tuesday is my website.

Wednesday is writing blogs and working on podcasts.

Thursday is

Friday is London Coworking Assembly 

Know where you are going

As crazy and uncertain as the world is right now, narrowing down a few things on your projects and when you are going to work on them is essential. 

It is essential for your well being and mental health and your business.

If you need help, ask one of your friends or me to talk it through, you will feel better for it. 

Stay safe and be excellent to each other.


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