Cult of Done

So since I’ve been writing about getting things capital-D Done, it makes sense to post the Cult of Done manifesto here:

The Cult of Done Manifesto

  1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
  7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more

I can’t say that I follow all these rules, nor that I want to. I’m a graduate student, a planner, I like to think things through and make sure that I’m picking the right course of action (which is especially important when making decisions about other people’s lives and environments!), but keeping all this in mind is really helpful. Especially if thinking is doing (it is), and writing is doing, and telling other people about your idea is doing.

My favourite is point 8: the anti-perfection declaration. That’s how I felt in quilt class; while I was impressed that people were taking their blocks apart and re-doing them because pieces were a quarter-inch wider than they wanted, that’s not my style. I’d rather do, work, make more. I don’t like to agonize.

I guess I just mean to say that the Cult of Done doesn’t apply in all circumstance, and you have to know when it works and when it doesn’t. I probably need to focus more on NOT following these rules and I’d be prouder of some of the papers I’ve written and sweaters I’ve knit, but I’d rather be a doer who makes some mistakes than deliberate forever and have one perfect thing to show for it after 15 years.

1 Response to “Cult of Done”

  1. 1 kurt Wong

    i like #5. but i think i would extend it to one month, considering my timelines….

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