The Cult of Next Manifesto

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Bored with what you’re doing now? May I present the next thing:

The Cult of Next Manifesto

  1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and next.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get to the next thing.
  3. Done is not enough.
  4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just pretend you know what you’re doing and go to the next thing.
  5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, go to the next thing.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get to the next thing.
  7. Once you’re done you can go to the next thing.
  8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from the next thing.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Getting to the next thing makes you right.
  10. Failure means you can go to the next thing. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction means you can go to the next thing.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, you can go to the next thing.
  13. Next!

This was prompted by 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.

Lots of people got excited by this manifesto’s dynamism and go-getting attitude, but I was disturbed by visions of these dynamic go-getters blazing ahead and leaving a trail of half-”done” projects in their wake for people like me to fix.

I can see the appeal — the manifesto has an air of Futurism about it. “The Futurists loved speed, noise, machines, pollution, and cities; they embraced the exciting new world that was then upon them…”

That’s the problem with the Cult of Done. It’s really about doing, not about getting things done. A real Cult of Done would emphasise finishing things properly so they really are done. The point of being done should be to finish, not “to get other things done”. If you really just want to get other things done, you’re not actually interested in “done” at all: you’re interested in “next”. Hence the Cult of Next.

RJ Owen is also uneasy about it: Don’t Join the “Cult of Done” – Stop Overcommitting.

While there’s a lot to like about the manifesto, it’s not something to base your work habits on. I certainly don’t — it took me almost a year to get around to writing this.

Tags: ,

Share this page:
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Slashdot
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • DZone
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Print

2 comments

You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.

  1. See also the Cult of Not Done manifesto. “Sometimes good things take time.”

Leave a comment