Trying to Do Something New

Set the Right Direction

Your first step toward completing a task or a project is often crucial in improving or degrading your eventual results. That’s one reason it’s important to make sure you’re heading in the best possible direction.

  • Survey the situation and look for examples of successful tasks or projects that contain similarities with what you are trying to accomplish.
  • Identify people and/or institutions with expertise in the relevant skills and disciplines, and learn what you can from them.
  • Map out several different plans of action, and evaluate the payoffs and problems that each one potentially entails.

Line Up Needed Resources

Once you have mapped out a solid plan of action and so have identified a fruitful first step, start calculating the resources you’ll need.

  • How long would acquiring every bit of needed resources delay getting started on the first step of the plan?
  • Is the plan so fully worked out that you actually know all the resources you’ll need to complete it, or are later steps and needed resources currently uncertain, dependent on results you achieve with some of the earlier steps?
  • Are all the needed resources currently available, or will they become available only later on?
  • Is it possible to do both: keep the plan moving forward at the same time as you also acquire additional resources?

Establish and Aim for Interim Milestones

When you’re trying to complete a task or project you’ve never done before, there’s always a significant chance of a misstep part-way through. Because you lack experience with this task or project, you might not notice a misstep until you’ve wasted significant time, effort, and resources on it.

  • Along a clear path from the first step to completion of the task or project.
  • Close enough together that they provide clear directions to guide your efforts at each stage of the task or project.
  • Tangible or objective enough that anyone can recognize when you’ve reached them.



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Robert Moskowitz

Robert Moskowitz


Robert Moskowitz is a successful, award-winning writer and consultant, and the author of “How to Organize Your Work and Your Life.”