The Idea Dude


Monday, August 10, 2009

The Problem with Momentum

A really good topic for a Monday morning. Momentum is one of those properties of life that is synonymous with been effortless or at least minimal energy while maintaining a good speed. Finding life's momentum is probably the toughest thing to do. Like getting a huge rock moving, once it gets going, it's pretty awesome but the energy required to get the rock rolling is pretty darn hard. It's called inertia, it's the nemesis of momentum.

We just started another web project. It's not unfamiliar territory but still it felt like a chore. Lots of mundane and time consuming tasks to do just to get it to a point of being presentable. Pretty much trying to get that big rock rolling.

Then I remembered how I used to get my own teams from overcoming their inertia. Divide your tasks into much smaller and manageable chunks. Then tag a few that will give you some quick easy wins. Part of overcoming inertia is feeling good about your progress. Do one thing at a time. Make sure it is one small thing that you know you can reach quickly and easily. Before long, momentum kicks in and you look back feeling good about how far you've come.

Incidently, there is a reason why the couplings between train cars have some slack in them. There's no way a train engine can pull 50 trucks from standstill. What it does because of the loose couplings, is pull the first one. Once the engine and the first truck is moving, it is easier to pull the next one. With each moving truck, the momentum gets larger and larger and eventually the whole train gets moving. Pretty smart. We have to remember to do that in our own lives. Building momentum one truck at a time.


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