Minimum Viable Progress

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I’ve been struggling to get started on two big projects: I want to write a book on the Align Method--a method I developed to help creatives/knowledge workers maximize their output. And I want to organize and clean every room in my house. 

Every day I tell myself, today is the day! I’m going to start! It’s going to feel so great to have that manuscript in hand. I will feel so much calmer once I’ve gone through the house. And then I invariably get distracted and make zero progress. 

Sound familiar?

And then it occurred to me: I am letting myself be distracted by other, less essential work because I feel overwhelmed. I should be following the advice I give my clients: apply the idea of minimum viable progress. 

Coined by Greg McKeown, the idea plays on the concept of a minimum viable product. A minimum viable product is what entrepreneurs use to describe the simplest iteration of their product that can be tested by potential customers. Analogously, thinking in terms of minimum viable progress is a way to break down big goals into bite-size do-able tasks.

I have decided to launch my own 30-day minimum viable progress challenge starting tomorrow. Here are the rules I have developed for myself, based on what I know as a coach:

  • I will write for only 30 minutes a day on my book and then spend 30 minutes working on my house.
  • I will do these two 30-minute sessions first thing in the morning, back-to-back.
  • I will take a 10-minute break between the two sessions.
  • Though it’s tempting to add on more goals, I am going to stick to these two projects.
  • I am also going to be disciplined about cutting myself off after 30 minutes, even if I want to keep going.
  • At the end of my sessions, I will take a few seconds to jot down in my notebook my plan for the next day.
  • I am going to keep a visual record of my progress using the Seinfeld Method.
  • Finally, I ’m going to reward myself by scheduling a fun activity after my work sessions.

Do you have a big project you’ve been putting off? Want to join me on a 30-day MVP challenge? If so, send me a message with your goal, and we’ll keep each other accountable!