In the recent past, the blog post that hit me hard the most was this.
I was a victim of the meta syndrome.
It was nice to know that there is a whole bunch of us who get caught in the meta syndrome at some point.
Firstly, it is healthy to think about what we are doing. As Jeff mentions, the “sharpening the saw” part is indeed very healthy. It is when we dont know where to stop, we end up contracting meta syndrome.
Discussions and brainstorming when taken to extreme levels lands in the meta syndrome.
We keep talking about how to build the flawless new system that no matter what solution we arrive at,
we subconsciously tend to find some shortcomings and thereby prolong the meta talks/discussions.
This is when we get addicted to “meta”.
Needless to say, Meta syndrome makes you unproductive. It could wreck your career if you are not careful enough.
So … What is the way out of this meta syndrome ?
1. After reasonable time spent on meta thinking/talking, get down to building stuff.
2. Let the process of building be Iterative.
3. The subsequent meta sessions should be fuelled by the learnings in the previous development cycle.
This sets certain scope and boundaries and doest let the meta talks go unbounded.
4. “Ideal state” is fluid. Cant arrest it. Can you ever freeze the requirements for any product ?
5. Be pragmatic. Ideal solutions are almost impossible and not many need them.
6. Dont fall into the “perfection” trap. Build something that is good enough under the given circumstances.
7. Think -> Do -> Think -> Do … and so on.
It should NEVER be Think -> Think -> Think some more …
Thinkers are rare, Doers are rarer, Thinkers and Doers are the rarest.
Be a Thinker and Doer. Stay away from the meta syndrome !