Nuts & Bolts: Inside Democratic campaigns—Don't sweat the small tasks!

Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D-I-Y’ers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week, we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide.

While this guide exists to cover a subject matter related to running large and small campaigns, in the beginning of the series, I wrote a companion piece “AARGH! Mistakes you should avoid.” This week’s entry goes back to those roots, and we’re going to have a little bit of fun discussing an easy mistake a lot of campaigns make that is equally easy to avoid. 

In an effort to get things right, it is pretty easy to get tied up, overanalyze, overthink and just burn yourself out on small items which will have almost no impact on your small campaign. Sometimes, the best response is just let go—or to realize not everything has to be perfect all the time. While campaigns have to worry about making sure some items click together, and continual missing of small things can signal problems, the reason why these items become problematic often isn’t inbuilt dysfunction, too often it is because too much work on making sure you achieve perfection results in paralysis that slows everything down.

This week: don’t sweat the small tasks.

Campaigns face a lot of big decisions, policy profiles, advertising strategies, scheduling and how to spend money. These items rise to the top of every discussion within a campaign. Campaigns also run into small decisions that make almost no difference but can become so overwhelming that little happens.

Because Nuts & Bolts here is written with the small candidate in mind rather than a large, presidential campaign, realize that some of these items may scale differently in larger federal races, but the time associated is still in accordance to the level of staff and resources.