How To Make Ice Cubes Out Of Icebergs

When it comes to taking relaxation time away from marketing and growing your business, you’ve got two competing internal forces at play:

If that’s you, I get it. I am a human who is looking at the coming weeks and thinks, “Hey, you know what’ll be relaxing? Writing out a plan to build that that Burning Man info site in 2021!!1”

In my lifetime of stuffing personal projects into my relaxing time, I’ve learned a few things:

  1. It’s okay. Some of us untangle yarn to relax. Some of us write processes. Some of us launch websites. Some of us work on projects. (I won’t yuck your yumm.)
  2. You still need to relax. Full stop. If you — though lack of use or lack of training — never really built up the ‘chill’ skill, then that could become a fun personal project to work on. (Make sure to read the book ‘How to Be Idle: A Loafer’s Manifesto’
  3. If you are going to work, then work on small things. Let’s elaborate on this point.

If you’re focused on demolishing an iceberg-sized project (personal or not) in your free time (e.g., start that email newsletter, launch that podcast, write that book, launch that website), cool your spurs, cowpoke. You won’t have the bandwidth/attention/energy necessary to get those things done well.

Instead, focus on small, high-impact, low-effort things. Chip some ice cubes off of that iceberg.

There’s a great question I ask myself in my daily review. (I adapted this from The One Thing

What could I do tomorrow that would make my weekly objective easier or unnecessary?

In this context, I like:

What could I do this week that would make my project’s objective easier or unnecessary?

I recommend using this as a focusing lens for whatever projects you get up to over the winter holidays.

For whatever the project’s objective is, ask yourself what you could do to make the objective easier or unnecessary. What smaller tasks or projects could you work on instead to get to the objective faster?

Look at the different options until you find one that’s low-effort but still high-impact. Then get to work.