End On A High Note
I used to be an in-car driving instructor. Each driving lesson lasted 90 minutes. Often, when I introduced a new maneuver – parallel parking, K-turn, quick stop, cornering – it took most of the lesson for the student to at least feel comfortable executing the maneuver. By the end of 90 practice minutes, students often progressed appreciably though inconsistently. Whenever they landed the maneuver, no matter how rough, I’d say, “Great job.” Then, “Let’s end on a high note.” Students went home feeling accomplished and rode that wave into their next driving lesson.
Ending a driving lesson on a high note guarantees starting the next one off with confidence.
Same with any project – at work, home, in the community. It’s more productive to return to a project feeling successful rather than channeling difficulty. How do you end a project session on a high note? By completing a pre-determined goal for the session. It might be as simple as “finish the first section of the proposal; enter all RSVPS in the database; or transcribe three pages of written notes into a Word document.” I call this working to “Milestone.” It is the first of five “Innovation Markers” I’ve identified for advancing a project. And it is one key to being Prolific without Pain.