May 1, 2020

Incremental progress

Incremental progress is about making small progress constantly over time. If you can, making it a daily affair is even better.

Instead of aiming for the big wins, aim for small wins instead. Big wins might get you in the spotlight, but it’s probably going to happen way less frequently than small wins.

And if you keep achieving small wins, they might eventually add up to a big win. The difference is, you will keep seeing progress along the way. And that is more likely to keep you and your team motivated to keep going.

The problem with perfectionism

The thing is, the more you aim for perfection, the harder you will find being able to let go. You will not want to release your work to your customers because you want to ‘get it right’. Then you will spend all your time trying to perfect your offering.

The problem is, nobody will know when that time will come. You and your team will just be working on and on in the background. But your work in the background doesn’t affect your customers. Until you decide to ship your work. It’s demoralising to keep working on something and never see its impact on others.

Ship your work

Instead of striving to make a huge change at one go, make a small improvement to your product. Send it out to the world. Then continue making a better version.

Ship it, and see what are your customers’ reactions. That way, if nobody cares, then at least you would have saved time, money and effort by shipping your work earlier.

And your customers wouldn’t have to face a significant change suddenly. After all, humans tend to resist change. Smaller, incremental improvements are more likely to get them to buy into your vision of a better product.

By all means, seek excellence in your work. But don’t hold back your work just because it’s not the huge progress that you want. Let go of your perfectionism and embrace the fact that there is no such thing as perfect anyway. Think incremental progress instead. Slowly, but surely, you will improve your work over time.

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