In my last post I talked about STARTING. This post is dedicated to FINISHING! After you get used to starting things, get in the habit of finishing them too! Once starting is a non-issue, all of a sudden finishing can become the next hurdle! It's easy to begin something (or many somethings) and never finish anything!
I know from personal experience I have challenges finishing things. Two main things hinder my ability to finish:
- So many ideas, so little time.
- The devil's in the details.
(1) So many ideas, so little time... I find it easier and more fun to brainstorm possibilities, especially when I get inspired by a new idea. I love the feeling of that creative energy, which is so much easier when it's just a dream and you don't have to worry about any actual details of implementation, leading to completion.
(2) The devil's in the details... Once the broad-strokes have been brushed, all of the minutia churns into a shitstorm of incompletion on more projects than I can count. Sometimes other people have gotten caught in those storms which can cause some hard feelings. In our heads it seems totally natural to move on to the next shiny object, but to those who may have gotten dirty down in the trenches with you, they don't necessarily hear what's going on in our brain, so they may be left in the dark, feeling abandoned and a little bitter for the time they spent on your project abortion.
I learned a few things about myself along the way regarding finishing. No, I still don't always complete all of my projects. Yes, I still get distracted by shiny objects. And, yes, I can still frustrate people who are collaborating with me, as well as those who are anxiously awaiting my next creative endeavor. So, no I'm not perfect...But I'm better than I have ever been and I plan to keep improving!
Here are 5 tips on how to FINISH:
1) When you think of that NEXT great project, instead of shelving the one you're working on now to entertain the new shiny object, write it down and put it in your "Great Idea" folder. Then get back to the completing the project in hand before spending time on the new idea.
2) Make a "to-do" list of the details that you need to complete.
3) Make a timeline. Create a schedule of when you plan to get those things on your "to-do" list done.
4) Probably THE most important tip is to Set a overall project Deadline (then you can work backwards to connect the dots for your timeline)!
5) Know when to quit. Not every project needs to be completed. Yes, it's true, not all endeavors need to see the finish line. Some things are best left on the cutting room floor so to speak.
Know what to Start, what to Finish and what to walk away from. Whatever you do be sure that you are Enjoying the Ride!