For those who listen to Dave Ramsey or other financial podcasts the term Snowball is well understood. For those of you who never heard about it before, if you are in debt what you should do is pay off the smallest balance first (pay minimum in others) until that is paid off, and then go to the new ‘smallest balance.’ The downside is that you may pay more ‘interest’ but it gives you the quickest victory.
In the world of agile there is a similarity called ‘Minimal Viable Product.’ Basically a MVP is what developers can build as fast as possible to give the users something they can use. The goal of course is a dopamine hit for the victory.
As I was in meetings, and I looked at my personal life I started thinking. This notion of small victories can be applied more broadly. I look at my garage which somehow no matter how many times I clean it, turns out like a cyclone hits it. I dread cleaning it each time as it is a good 4-5 hours (my ADHD kicks in) project. So, I avoid it. What if I “snowballed it?” What if i just cleaned one shelf? Or just one area of a shelf. Would I get the dopamine hit to drive me to do more? Emptying out the whole garage is time consuming, do I need to do that?
Are there other parts of my life that I struggle to tackle as they are bigger things? Looking at them not in the order that people would do them, but the order if easiest to hardest. Would I get things done?
I understand that ADHD has certain traits including the fact we struggle with things that have no due date, that take a considerable amount of time and thus put things off. I once wrote about the Mark Twain theory of Eat a Frog, which is an alternative to the snowball method, and I did this a bunch. I have fallen into doing tasks that have less friction if I am honest with myself.
I do not know the exact moment when the lightbulb went off that I connected the Snowball to Agile to day to day, and it doesn’t matter. Now the question is where to apply it first and see if it works. I guess I will let you know, but as the reader is there something that you are putting off that maybe the snowball would help solve?
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This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book. With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path. I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content. I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip. I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog. Images without notes are created using and AI tool that allows me to reuse them.