Checkpoints and Road Signs
For our honeymoon, my wife and I were able to take a two-week driv- ing trip across France. While it was an incredible experience, one of the things that you learn quickly when driving in the French countryside is that there aren’t a lot of road signs. Instead, you infrequently come to a roundabout with several signs marked for cities pointing in different directions leading to different roads. If you happen to miss just one of those signs because you aren’t paying attention, you might end up many, many kilometers away from where you intended to go.
Your creative process is very similar. Maybe you think you know the direction you need to go, so you keep your head down, do your work, and settle into a rhythm. However, it’s possible that the environment around you is changing and you’re missing the signals. The result could be that you end up very far from where you intended to be.
It’s important to have frequent checkpoints—weekly, monthly, quar- terly—to make sure that you’re still on course. Are you still solving the right problems? Do you need to build new kinds of stimulus into your life? Do you need to shift how you are using your time? Building check- points prevents you from getting too far off course before you’re able to make a correction.
To ensure that you stay on course for your objectives, it helps to have frequent checkpoints built into your life.
When could you do a weekly checkpoint? A monthly one? A quarterly one?