Two hits from Lifehacker today: Hustle When You Want to Learn New Things and Ira Glass on Getting Creative Work Done.

The first is the key to the door, and it’s easy to insert and unlock: Hustle. Simple as that.

If you want to do something: do something. If want want to make progress towards a goal: do something. If you want to learn something (like Matt Nowack in the post): do something. Just keep doing something (hustling) and you will get things done.

So that pretty much covers that. Except, it also leads into the second post, which is: the reason you have to keep hustling.

That reason is, as Glass says, when you start out, what you’re making isn’t all the great. But you know that, and if you keep at it (keep hustling) you will get better, and the quality of whatever you’re doing will improve, and eventually (if you hustle long enough) it will rise to the level that you’d imagined in the first place. This is a good reason to follow the popular entrepreneur’s slogan Fail Early, Fail Often. You can replace Fail with Hustle and you have essentially the same meaning as long as you recognize that your first (and probably several subsequent) efforts at hustling will not be as good as you intend them to be.

For a more concrete example: I read a few blogs on writing (creative writing) and the idea is the same when writing a novel (or short story). The first draft of a novel is almost never the final draft. Most writers (who give advice) encourage others (“aspiring” writers) to write the first draft as quickly as possible and not to even worry if it’s total garbage that no one would ever actually read. Because, as Mr. Glass says, you know it’s not all that great. (I like how he avoids saying “It’s total crap.”) But if you know it’s not that great, then you can go back through it and revise and polish, and it will get better every time. If you fail on the first draft, at least you have a first draft. You can take that crappy not so great first draft, and you can edit it, fail again, and then edit it again.

At some point you have to release it into the wild, but that is actually another chance to fail (and improve). In this example, you release your book into the wild (say, to a publisher who then edits it further). You observe what they have done, and then you hustle to fix it, and send it back. You may fail again. And again. But eventually, they’ll put it out into the hands of readers where you will get a whole new set of complaints. Once again, observe, hustle, and continue hustling – in this example, on to the next book.

Or in the case of blogging: on to the next post.


Posted on January 29, 2010, in Diatribes, Getting Things Done, Personal Improvement and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Hustle.

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