From Conception to Birth

When I talk about project management, most of the focus is on the mechanics and techniques of planning and completing work. That’s the easy part. A series of big deadlines over the last two months has reminded me that the biggest challenge to getting work delivered is overcoming the psychological hurdles.

Delivering work. I find it appropriate that shipping work is referred to using the same term often used to describe having a baby. Although I’ve never had one myself, I’ve heard many a birth story and have seen enough movies that outline the basic steps to see some clear analogies.

Conception. The fun part! Ideas are plentiful and easy to come by (usually.) The folks over at the 99% got it right when they identified that the problem for most creatives is that they have too many ideas! We are constantly getting knocked up with ideas.

Gestation. Once an idea grabs hold, although there might be some discomfort, producing is pretty automatic. Like a growing baby, the idea gets fleshed out. You sketch, mock up concepts, and start really giving your idea some life by blocking out the basic parts: the heart, brain, and limbs of your initial concept.

Delivery. The hard part. This is the scene in the movie when the woman starts screaming at her husband for ‘doing this to her’ and may even feel like giving up. But there is no turning back; you simply have to push…PUSH! You have to push through all of your resistance, your doubt, your exhaustion, your fear, your pain, your anxiety and get that completely formed, glorious, screaming idea out into the world.

5 thoughts on “From Conception to Birth

  1. Thanks for your post. Such a good analogy and so true! Really embracing that there is no turning back at the delivery stage can be super helpful in sidelining all those doubts and inner critic voices that often come on with a vengeance right at the end. There’s no time for giving up when you’re about to give birth!

  2. Very funny analogy. At least when you have babies, you don’t have to decide which one of all your possibles you’ll end up delivering. For me, the hardest part is to decide what idea to develop first, and let the others on the “some day” list.

    1. Yeah, me too. I find when something keeps nagging at me, even when it’s on my ‘maybe someday’ list, I try and think about tackling it in my plans for the following year. It’s hard though.

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