Priorities Change in the Weeds

by Chance Smith

In even the simplest projects, it’s natural to think priorities stay the same to the very end. We make our plans and get to work until we finish, right?

Let’s say we’re planting flowers in the flowerbed, and the end-result is flowers in the front yard. Here’s our plan:

  1. Dig up existing plants.
  2. Buy flowers from the store.
  3. Place flowers in the flowerbed.
  4. Dig wholes for new flowers.
  5. Plant flowers.

Done, right?

Well, during the work, we considered brick edges around the flowerbeds, found many weeds, and didn’t buy enough flowers. What was a 2-hour job became a weekend hobby we didn’t anticipate.

I’ve found even with the most simple plans; the priorities change when we break up the work further.

We get excited about new ideas. We notice details we have yet to see. We question how perfect we need to make this. We make mistakes.

Now we have to figure out how to prioritize this new work. What’s a nice-to-have and what’s a must-have?

The point is

The nice-to-haves list grows as you progress, and we don’t want these nice-to-haves to get in the way of the must-haves.

Focus on the must-haves first, but not at the expense of quality.