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Every Task Has 5 Steps

The other day, my yoga instructor said that every pose has five steps.


1. The sitting or standing preparation stance that mentally prepares you for the pose.

2. Transitioning into the pose.

3. The pose.

4. Transitioning out of the pose.

5. Sensing the changes in your body or mind.

Maybe you’re designing a logo (or hiring someone), writing copy for a web page (or hiring someone) or developing a marketing plan (or hiring someone).

There are five steps, similar to the yoga pose, in every task that’s part of any project.

1. Mentally shifting gears, recollecting conversations and ideas, and getting yourself in the spirit of the project like an actor does with a role he’s playing.

2. Collecting notes, tools and resources and locating and opening files.

3. Doing the work.

4. Closing, organizing, storing, note taking, planning next steps.

5. Reflecting on the work and shifting gears to the next project.

The steps are a necessary blend of the mundane and lofty, inextricably linked.

You can create inspiring and transformative work and do these steps only a handful of times during a project.

Or you can do the steps two dozen or more times because of whims, disorganization or confusion (yours or the person doing the hiring.)

Both the doer and the buyer tend to underestimate and undervalue the necessary bookends that surround the work.

An aware buyer is a better client because they want every step to matter.


Image credit: Paul Stevenson

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