When working on a large project, can you be perfect in 50 minutes? Will your work be without flaw and your mind at ease knowing that you could do no better? Can you be perfect and focused at the same time?
In a word… NO!
Perfectionism is a curse that I’ve had to deal with for years. I’ll start on a project only to endlessly tweak and trim for hours to try and get it perfect. I never succeed, and sometimes the whole project suffers from the endless modifications. Hours go by with no completion time in sight. Sometimes I give up before the project is done. Have you ever experienced this?
That is the beauty of working in a focused manner for 50 minutes. It forces you to concentrate on getting the project done in an efficient and expedient way. The more I have tested this concept the better it works for me. Take blogging for example. I have been creating my posts in 50 minute intervals over the past two weeks.
Every time I complete one, I make a note of things that I could have done differently to be more efficient. This last weekend I set aside a 50 minute period to just create graphics for my posts. Starting with a template frame I created numerous graphics that will go with many of my post topics. So instead of taking 20 to 30 minutes on one graphic, I was able to create a whole folder full of properly framed and sized graphics in 50 minutes. I uploaded the folder to my web server so they are available at any time.
Now when I write a post it only takes a link to add a graphic. This is a great time saver! I also kept the graphics in a layered Photoshop format on my computer so if I need to modify the text on one of them, I can make the changes in a matter of minutes and quickly save and upload the new pictures to the web folder.
One other great technique that came out of this exercise was to setup an automatic batch file in Photoshop that I can run in seconds to create smaller graphics files for newletter use or for sidebar placement. So now I have a full size 300 pixel graphic, along with a 150px and 75px version. When I’m creating a column in the newsletter to highlight a certain post I’ll now have a thumbnail ready to go.
One of the other things that has helped enormously are index cards that I created that include common blog words, color combinations, and writing techniques that I keep under my monitor for quick reference. This saves a lot of time when I need a different word and it also helps when I need to blend in a graphic or add color to text.
Well my 50 minutes is just about up… let me add the graphic… ok… post.