How To Develop An Instinct To Ship

If you want to get better at something, if you want to be productive, you have to continuously complete things. Not just work on them, but finish them - In salesperson jargon you must: 'always be closing'

So the question of productivity then becomes; how do I continuously finish?

I used to think that you first make the art, make the outcome and then find the audience, the market, the space. This was what I called rear-wheeled motivation, you're being motivated by the making of the piece itself as opposed to aiming at a deadline, which would be front-wheeled.

This came from years of working to tight deadlines at my previous job so when I decided to go solo I couldn't think of a worse thing to stifle creativity than a deadline!

I was wrong.

Deadlines ARE the answer to motivating creativity, or more accurately, generous promises are.

Some people have figured out how to be naturally more productive per minute and the way to do that is by having an instinct to ship. This means making promises, commitments to which you are held accountable.

Like a game show, you buzz not when you have the answer, but just about when you feel you are going to - when you are confident you've got a shot.

The act of pressing that buzzer leads your mind to the answer, it leads to leaping and leaping leads to great work.

Get good at saying: "I have this much time and there WILL be a thing when I am done"

And by doing this consistently you build trust, reliance and momentum.

By making those promises generous ones, ones that end with something designed FOR someone; to make their life better, to turn a light bulb on in their head, you compound your time and energy spent.

That promise then turns into a brick in a foundation, you build something greater, that's spread out encompassing all of your work, that gives meaning to it and to others. And guess what, that then feeds back into your work so it becomes EVEN more meaningful and EVEN more productive.

Commit to an IG post about new work everyday. Publish a blog post, a thought, every day. When you know you HAVE to say something or create SOMETHING tomorrow that will stand the test of time then you WILL notice those things to talk about, you WILL invent that idea..

To develop an instinct to ship, consistently make generous promises.


Many of the ideas here I stole from this brilliant interview:

The Truth About Your Calling With Seth Godin & Marie Forleo

And this great book:

The 12 Week Year