Friday, March 27, 2009

The Cult of Done

I came across this on Dan Pink's blog a while ago and just had to pass it along. 

The Cult of Done Manifesto
(originally from Bre Pettis' blog, apparently written in 20 minutes)
  1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you're doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you're doing even if you don't and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
  7. Once you're done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more.
I particularly like #2, the first part of #5, #8 and #13. I'm not so sure about several other points (#3 and #7 in particular, and probably #9) and I don't think I understand a few others (#1, #11, #12), but there's something in this list that resonates with me. Whether I agree with the content and tone or not, I like the way this list challenges me to think about what constitutes a good project, a good outcome, a good approach to doing stuff that matters. 

One thing I realized as I read through this list is the link between procrastination and perfectionism. OF COURSE those two go together - how had I not seen that before? And the opposites seem to go together too. Personally, I am the exact opposite of a procrastinator (does that make me a concrastinator?), and am a self-proclaimed imperfectionist. No doubt that combination explains more than half of the trouble I get into and most of my self-induced, avoidable difficulties... but I hadn't really been aware of the link between these personality traits before. Interesting.

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