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The Results Curve: How to Manage Focused and Collaborative Time

Less-Is-More Blog by Pierre Khawand

How to harness the power of working in "iterations" to overcome stress, procrastination, and perfectionism!

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Mon, Jun 06, 2011 @ 06:00 AM

working in iterationsWanting things to be right, especially right the first time around, can be stressful or even exhausting and not to mention counter-productive. This is a trap that we all fall into and those of us who may admit to be procrastinators and/or perfectionists are likely to fall into it more often.

One strategy to fight this phenomenon back is to work in iterations. I described this strategy a while back and outlined 5 iterations that can get us going swiftly and help shatter procrastination and perfectionism. Most recently, I used this strategy and adapted it as follows.

  • Iteration #1: This worked wonders. My project, which seemed daunting at first, transformed into a fun and exciting endeavor. This iteration gave me the permission to be creative and to approach the work from a problem solving perspective. Ideas started to flow without being restricted by filters and critical judgment. When there were gaps in my information or knowledge, I made a note of it, and kept going without that information. I was unstoppable during this time.
  • I skipped iteration #2 because I didn't have much time and my project was short term.
  • Iteration #3: Now this iteration started to flow easily. It is still in my opinion the more difficult iteration but a lot less daunting than if this work was approach all at once without iterations 1 & 2. Iteration #3 is when we take our original playful work and take it to the next level. This is where we fill in some of the gaps and address the issues in more depth. This is however also the most rewarding iteration because this is when results start to shape up and become more concrete.
  • Iteration #4: In this case, this involved sharing my plan with others and discussing them via a virtual meeting. Involving others helped get some alignment on the goals and implementation plan, and avoided having me invest time in areas that weren’t consistent with the stakeholder’s vision and desired outcome.
  • Iteration #5: This is still going on. Refinements are underway. This iteration is turning out to be more fun and relaxed than anticipated.

Rediscover fun and excitement in your work! let the power of iterations work for you and overcome stress, procrastination, and perfectionism! Try this out and report back in the comments section below!

Topics: business results, time management tips, productivity, managing stress