I made a 300 sq foot cornhole game as a promotional tool for my calendar company, Big Weekend Calendars. It was part of an experimental event series I did for the (soon-to-be-a-lot-less-useful), Austin Events 2020 wall calendar.
I had the idea to paint the cover of the calendar on the giant board but I had never done painting like that before (or made a 300 sq ft cornhole game, for that matter).
My friend Wendy said it would be easy to paint it. She had done work like this before and knew how to apply a stencil on something that large using a projector.
She was enthusiastic to help and so I agreed.
It was “easy” she assured me. I’m thinking, ok maybe 10 hours or so.
Somewhere in the 30th hour of “easy” and without any sign of the finish line, I called Wendy out on having said it was easy.
Incredulously, she stood her ground and said it WAS easy.
After a few moments of staring each other in silence she declared:
“I think we have different definitions of easy”.
This was a lightbulb moment for me.
To me, “easy” means NOT time consuming.
To her, “easy” meant NOT procedurally difficult.
“Easy” is a judgement. “Hard” is a judgement. But we use them all the time like they are facts. The facts in the case of giant cornhole were:
- The process and setup would consist of a just a few steps that most people could understand and do once they were explained.
- It would take about 60 hours to complete.
Had we asked “what are the facts about this project?” then we would not be at this point.
Wendy defines “easy” as #1. If the steps are few and understandable, then it is easy.
For me, easy means it will be done faster than expected. I expected 10 hours, not 60.
Instead of “easy” and “hard” it’s better to quantify and talk about the facts. How much time will it take? Over how many days? How many resources are needed? Etc.
Whether something is “hard” or “easy” to us depends on how much we enjoy doing it. And before you can determine your enjoyment of the task, you have to figure out what all is involved in the task.
Giant Cornhole ended up looking fantastic but I would not call it easy. Wendy would.
By the way – I’m done with it and it’s for sale! Wendy actually wants the opportunity to paint it again and she can make it look however you like. I suggest you make it easy on yourself and hire her. Contact me for details.
Thanks also for Iain and Julia for help making this easy project easier.