You’ve written your idea down and you’re working on it, but have you given it a name?
Just yesterday we got to see the majestic launch and booster landings of Falcon Heavy, the SpaceX rocket. What an inspiration to see that many humans work together to create something new. My heart skipped a beat when the two boosters landed together like perfect synchronized dancers.
Even the name is wonderful, Falcon Heavy from SpaceX.
It got me thinking about how important it is to have a name for the project that you’re working on. When a group of people is working on a project, it’s an identifier and unifier. It helps a team to form. No matter how disparate their responsibilities are they can instantly know that they are working on the same giant project. However, names have the same function if you’re working on something alone.
It doesn’t have to be the same name you’re going to use for the final product, it’s just an easy reference for you to collect ideas and work around. It’s so much easier to work on Falcon Heavy than it is to work on “the Mars rocket project.”
You may not have a team working with you, but you still need to define what you do. Remember that part of getting work done is marketing it to yourself. You want your work to be appealing. Giving it a great name or working the goal into the name is a big motivator to working on something even when the work is tedious or difficult.
It’s much better to think to yourself, “I have to work on Genius T-Rex” or “my million dollar vacuum cleaner idea” than it is to tell yourself you have to slog away on chapter seven of your latest writing project or tinker in your workshop. The name can change, it doesn’t have to reflect the final product at all, but you can still get all the benefits of having that name while you’re doing the hard work.
Never underestimate the power of a good name to increase your chances of completing something. And even if you’d don’t complete it, it’s still going to look better in your drafts folder than a file called “novel” or “screenplay.”
Give your project a name that appeals to you, looks good on your calendar when you schedule time to do it and would make someone curious if they saw it over your shoulder. You may even find that naming the project changes it for you. It may make it more real and less abstract than it was before.