When You Hit the Wall
I strongly believe that the most important skill that makes the difference between the success and the failure is the ability to overcome the phase which will inevitably occur most of the time, especially on long-term projects, hitting the wall.
Hitting the wall means getting to the phase when you’re no longer interested in your project, the initial excitement is far gone and all that’s left is the mundane grinding. This is the time when most projects get canceled.
People who are aware of this phenomenon usually opt for short-term projects so they don’t get to that phase and they try to finish them before the initial excitement get burned out. The risk of this approach lies in the subpar quality.
If you think about it, you can’t usually deliver anything substantial in a very short time. You can’t write the book in a day, you can’t record quality online course in a week, you can’t create an amazing mobile game in a month.
Good things just take time to make. The more time you spend on the same project the more probably you are going to hit the wall, but it doesn’t mean that you should abandon long and time-consuming work. It means that you need to understand how to get over the wall and keep going.
When I started producing online content, it was an amazingly painful process, because I was hitting the wall most of the time. I got easily excited, but after few weeks, I just openly hated the whole idea and wanted to drop it. Somehow, I managed to keep going and eventually, the fire got ignited again.
It really helps if you just show up. Make your project into a ritual. Don’t think about your emotions when it’s time to sit down and work. Just treat it as something you need to do no matter what. Most of the time, showing up is all it takes. Make an appointment with your project. I mean, really, write it on your calendar, so you can treat it like a meeting. Make a coffee or tea, get ready and go.
Sometimes, you might be able to squeeze only 5 minutes, but even 5 minutes is better than nothing at all.
At the end of the day, make sure to praise yourself for what you have done. It’s very important to constantly remind yourself that you are making progress, even if it’s very small progress, it will compound over time.