If you’ve been putting off that idea—your big project—because you don’t have time, I’ve got good news for you.
You have more capacity to do that big project than you think. And the best way to unleash your hidden capacity is to dive in and start that big project.
One of the highlights for me this past year was putting together the Reinventure Me podcast. It was a big project birthed by a suggestion over a year ago from my friend Jeff Abramovitz who has a podcast of his own. Not ever having listened to a podcast before, I knew if I were going to do it that I needed some help. So I enrolled in Cliff Ravenscraft’s excellent Podcasting A-Z course.
By December, I had developed the concept, put together the studio, designed the logo and was gearing up to launch the website the following month. That’s when my new friend Armin Assadi expressed interest in the show and the format switched to the co-hosted program we have today.
Putting together the past 47 episodes have taught me three important things about tackling big projects:
- It takes disproportionate energy to start things. That first 30 minute episode took about 18 hours to put together. Between the million “first decisions” about show format, music selection, audio filters, etc. that needed to be made and the production time for takes, re-takes and edits, the first show was painful to produce. And costly in time. More than I expected.
It’s here where the fatality of many new endeavors occur. “Things always take longer than they do,” someone humorously once observed. If I hadn’t known that it would get easier, I would never have endured the process. I’m told childbirth is like that too.
- It takes pressure to change the way you work. I knew right away that my schedule would not support a regular 18 hour weekly commitment to podcasting. Changes needed to be made. My goal was to produce the program, start to finish, in under 5 hours per week. To do so meant locking in a process and finding ways to streamline it. It took several weeks to reach that goal. A more stable process allowed me to outsource some of the post-production work, shaving off even more time.
But it wasn’t just podcasting tasks that I delegated. Adding a regular podcast to my weekly routine forced me to reevaluate the way I worked on everything. The result: I delegate more than I did a year ago, and I’m more inclined to settle for excellence over perfection.
- It takes deep commitment to keep at it. I’m an exuberance addict. One of the things I need to guard myself against is saying yes to an idea, only to find that I don’t have tolerance for a longterm commitment to it. I thought long and hard about the podcast, knowing that a weekly program was a big ask of my time. Having a co-host who was equally committed helped—a lot. Armin is no less busy than me, but over the course of the year he remained enthusiastic and faithful to the commitment we both made at the beginning.
No venture is intended to last forever, but the real test of the love you have for an idea is the commitment you put toward it, even when you don’t feel like it. There were plenty of times when we would have preferred to skip recording a show because we were busy or tired. Instead, we dragged ourselves into the studio, and after we stepped away from mic, we knew we had done right. Another episode was born.
You have capacity to do much more than you think. Could it be that the time you need to do that big idea will only come after you make a commitment to do it?
Remember this: you have all the time you need to do what God has inspired you to do.
What big ideas are you planning to begin in the new year?