Archives for posts with tag: Completion

I’ve written a few times before about tackling large projects and biting off small digestible or achievable chunks to eat away at the project and make it doable.

One thing I find useful when tackling a large project – though not too large or else the parameters may change and you have to start again – is to do the fiddly stuff first. If you’re writing a document, get the contents right before you move on to fill in the big gaps. If you’re working on a large deck, do the cover slide and the end slide first and get the title and content conventions down before you do your slides. If you’re working on a spreadsheet, to the tidying up and formatting of cells before you put the main body of numbers in.

You have to do the important parts, the major bits, so getting the fiddly stuff out of the way means they won’t get forgotten about or underserved at the end when you’re flagging. Yes, you run the risk of not getting the big, important part finished, but you have to get it done so you’ll get it done, and if there’s a time deadline, then your focus, your productivity and your output will increase accordingly.

If you do the fiddly stuff first, you know you’ll finish. If you leave the fiddly stuff til last, you run the risk of wanting a break after finishing the big stuff and not finishing the whole thing.

When it comes to mowing your lawn, or cutting the grass, depending on where you’re from and your preferred terminology, are you an up-and-down sort of a person or a ‘concentric reduction’ sort of a person?

There is a certain therapeutic value to be gained from mowing one’s lawn. I think it’s the geometric control we can exercise over the grassy area, bringing a sometimes odd-shaped expanse of land under control, and then methodically working our way through the job in a precise fashion.

In many ways I find it like painting a wall or a ceiling in the house. You do your prep, removing anything that might get in the way of speeding along once you’re into your stride, then taking care of the border by ‘cutting in’, followed by the broad swathes and sweeps as you eat up the space.

I’m a concentric reduction kind of a person. I do my border, then knock out the rough edges, curves and shapes until I’m left with an unmowed rectangle. Then I move around the space in ever decreasing concentric borders towards the middle.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I can finish the job right by the compost bin with the last full basket of grass, for ease of emptying and returning the lawnmower to the shed, but it’s still a good feeling to do it the way I do it.

Hay fever be damned!