Getting over the hump

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Basecamp Hill Chart concept (graphic via Signal v. Noise)

The project management tool I use for my work, Basecamp, released a new feature a few months ago called Hill Chart. It has really helped on the couple of projects I've used it on so far by providing a more accurate picture of progression.

What makes it so inspiring is how it visualizes a fundamental way we go through anything, whether it's work or personal goals: we start out in an upward struggle that feels difficult to get through, and as we keep pushing, we suddenly feel like everything comes together and becomes easier.

This is a constant pattern in design work where a big chunk of the initial work is understanding the underlying problem, researching and gathering notes, and developing a mental model, before even getting to any visual work.

A couple of my own more recent goals I've talked about before are also good examples: eating plant-based, and content marketing.

For eating plant-based, after getting through the cravings, one of the toughest parts for me was making my eating routine where I didn't constantly have to worry about it. That alone took almost a year until I felt good about it. Now it seems easy, it's become a natural thing for me.

On content marketing, I started out this year committing myself to writing 1–2 blog posts a month and sending out two newsletters each month (one for Blocks Edit, the other for ovidem). It initially felt overwhelming as I was barely doing a single blog post a month at the time, if that. But having practiced doing it almost a year now, I've developed a muscle for coming up with ideas regularly, keeping notes, and sitting down to write which now doesn't feel like the chore it was at the beginning of the year.

Using the Hill Chart as a tool, you manually plot a point of where you feel you're at on the hill with what you're working on and review it over time. Stress and anxiety comes from the unknowns. Having a way to put them into perspective I think greatly helps you alleviate some of the unnecessary worry and get past the hump.

Here's more personal growth posts. And keep updated with progress on my work via my newsletter.

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Categories: Art & Design, Tech & Culture, Growth & Craft