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The Cult of Done Manifesto

Dear Members of the Cult of Done,

I present to you a manifesto of done. This was written in collaboration with Kio Stark in 20 minutes because we only had 20 minutes to get it done.

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.

Update: James Provost made the awesome poster for the Cult of Done Manifesto.

And Joshua Rothaas made this poster. I really want real physical posters of both of these!


There is also now a facebook group for the Cult of Done


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Reader Comments (183)

Yay. I'm printing this up right now so it's done and putting it on my wall. LOVE it!

Mar 3 | Unregistered CommenterTikva

Just post this in the metblogs forums and deleted half my "to blog" queue that has been sitting for months.

very compelling.
could you elaborate on #12? Specifically what do you mean by "ghost of done"?



Mar 3 | Unregistered Commenterjon

love it! I've just added this to my personal manifesto (disclaimer: there is an editing phase, but not for me, rather, I pass it on to the 'next phase' partners I've just added!). I too say "yay".

Mar 3 | Unregistered Commentermarcelfilm

Excellent content!

rule 8… must obey rule 8…

Mar 3 | Unregistered CommenterfALk

i'm going to write up an answer to this. maybe tomorrow.

Mar 3 | Unregistered CommenterMatthias

I'm done reading this

Mar 3 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan

Great idea!

Could you clarify #6 ? Thanks,

Not a native speaker

Mar 3 | Unregistered Commenteraxlovin

Done is the engine of realization. "More" is the destroyer of worlds.

Mar 3 | Unregistered CommenterHD41117

Please create a Facebook group for this. It may end up being a big help.

Mar 3 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Very interesting idea. I've been thinking about something along these lines with my "Time" series of posts, but I hadn't considered Failure or Destruction as counting as "done".

I already posted about the time that's wasted when you try to get over, like instead of buying what works, you spend the amount of time trying to find a workaround that you would have paid yourself way more than what you should have bought was worth, had you been working on something.

I'll have to incorporate these ideas of unfinished completion into my processes. Don't know if they'll hold, but I can see it being way more efficient than spending more time trying to figure out how to make something perfect.

I had been trying to teach engineers this for years... gave up.
Now I practice it in the stock market and can attest to its truth.

Thanks for putting it in writing.

Mar 3 | Unregistered Commentercongamike

Now that I'm done reading this, I'll soon be done writing this comment. Look, I'm done!

All good ideas taken to extreme become dumb ideas. These are moving in that direction, but happily stop short of going too far.

There is no editing stage? Harrumph. Editing is all there is.

Do Be Have

Mar 3 | Unregistered CommenterJames

Just so we're clear, does posting your ideas of what a done manifesto should be on the internet count as done or a ghost of done? What are you waiting for? Go carve it into a tree, young man!

Mar 3 | Unregistered CommenterNiero

Hey, I hope you don't mind. I did a quick little word art edit of this so I could print it out and get the highlights from a distance. If you do mind my publishing it I will pull it down.

I just hope my doctor never follows this list.

Facebook group created - full respect to this site !
(happy to remove if Bre asks)

Mar 3 | Unregistered CommenterTricky

Nice manifesto. #13 is poetry.

Mar 3 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Smith

Very clever.

Through whatever black magic or common sense you've used, managed to take some of the most important efficiency creating truisms of self-help manuals and strip them down to flow chart simplicity.

This is going on my wall.

Mar 3 | Unregistered Commenterneujack

Agreed. #13 is the most beautiful thing i've read in a while, now.

Mar 3 | Unregistered Commenterjeffroward

You've done it--bravo!

This is so very right. I'm going to keep it on a card in my journal as a reminder.

Let me know when you design an airplane, or automobile, or CAT scanner, or fire extinguisher, or elevator, or SCADA system, or microwave oven using this method, so I can be certain never to use it.

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