Cousin Kim New Born Baby Boy
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 last year reminded me that the biggest challenge to getting work delivered is overcoming psychological hurdles.

Delivering work. I find it appropriate that getting a project across the finish line is the same as the one used to describe having a baby. Let’s keep going with the analogy, it helps illustrate the process.

Conception. The fun part! Ideas are plentiful and easy to come by (usually.) The folks over at Behance 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, production is, for the most part, automatic. Like a growing baby, the idea gets fleshed out. You sketch, mock up concepts and start bringing your idea to life by blocking out the basic parts; the heart, brain and limbs of your initial concept.

Delivery. The part 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, baby out into the world.

This is just how the creative process works. This analogy is helpful to assess what part of the cycle you’re in.

Do you want to be the woman who is metaphorically fully dilated, flying down the corridors on a gurney yelling obscenities at everyone at the hospital; insisting that actually, no, she isn’t going to have this freaking baby!?

I want to be the one who has had lots of healthy bouncing bundles of joy and is calmly doing deep breathing exercises; knowing that yes, there will be some pain, but she and the baby will just work together to let nature take it’s course.

I can hear all the mom’s out there laughing at that last bit…so am I.

Photo by Jon Ovington