Getting a head start on major projects

Simon Hall writes..,If you're facing a big challenge, this trick can help you tackle it.

Woman sitting by river thinking and writing

My fingers are throbbing, my back is aching, and my mind is numb…

But I’m feeling contented, nonetheless.

Because I’ve just finished the first edit of my new book.


All 90,000 words of it. Yes, 90,000.

No wonder my fingers are throbbing, my back is aching, etc etc.

But the point of this blog is a handy trick to help you get through such major projects.

Whether it's a big presentation, a report, a job application, whatever.

And it all comes down to momentum.


I’ve been fortunate enough to have a few books published now…

And been asked to put together a fair number of lecture courses.

The feeling at the start of each project is always the same.

A Mighty Mountain towers before me.

How on earth am I going to conquer that brute?


There is no shortcut, sad to say.

The simple answer - as so often - is hard work.

But! This is what really helps me to get through a big project.


At the start, when I’m about to begin work, I clear a whole day in my diary.

And I write, think, plan, outline, edit, write, think, plan, outline, edit, etc etc…

The whole day through.


Don’t get me wrong, I do have breaks.

I think they’re essential, as they help to recharge you. 

Whether just a cup of tea, a brief walk or jog, a trip to the shops…

But the breaks are short, and the day is long in terms of work.


When it comes time to stop, I’m always exhausted.

But! I’m also buzzing with achievement.

Somehow, the project has gotten into my brain and my blood…

There’s plenty already set down on paper, whether words, slides, masterplan, whatever…

And, critically, and this is the point…

I feel I have momentum.


I’ve already achieved a fair bit.

Now all I have to do is keep on going. 

Day by day, bit by bit, building on such a good start.


That’s my trick for helping to get through a major project. 

Go for the Big Bang Beginning

And it’ll give you the impetus to complete the task. 


PS. Since you asked, even if you didn’t.

The new book is called Compelling Communication.

It’s designed as a companion to my University of Cambridge course, Compelling Communication Skills.

And is due to be published in spring 2024…

So mark your diary to order your copy now.

(Come on… you knew there would be a price for reading this blog!)

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