The story is always the same. First an idea is born in your mind. You finally build up the audacity to begin building the idea. You pitch it to others, you tell your friends and colleagues. “You’re going somewhere,” you tell yourself. You’re passionate.
Soon after, you get down on yourself and you start losing focus. You lose sight of the fire that got you started in the first place. By now, six months into it, you decide to abandon it and call it a “learning experience.” You tend to your wounds, rest up for three months and then start the process all over again.
Here are some things that could help you get started on finishing your projects:
Chose your projects wisely
When you start on a project, be sure that the project is something you are passionate about and you want to see through. If you keep thinking about the project every day for weeks, then you should probably give it a go.
Create a System to Do the Work and why creating a system works
When you create a system you don’t spend precious energy figuring out when or the next steps, you just do it according to your system. You do it even when you don’t feel like it. You do it even when you have a lot of other things on your plate. You do it even when you feel lost and don’t know your next step… because you planned it out and committed to it ahead of time.
So create a system and follow it religiously. Doing the Work is the absolute hardest part. In reality, winging it usually doesn’t work. Trying to get through Doing the Work without a system often results in an incomplete project and that doesn’t make anyone feel good about themselves.
The creating a system to for your project makes it easier to accomplish your goal, and sets you up to succeed. Once you have that system in place, you’ve got to dig deep for your discipline to make sure you follow through. All the systems in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t layer discipline on top.
Quit being a perfectionist
How many of us keep delaying work because we want to get it just right? If your perfectionism is preventing you from even getting started, try these two tips:
First, break the task into many little steps, and then focus on one part at the time. Soon, you’ll be left with such a simple task that you’ll be wondering what was keeping you from doing it from before!
Second, give yourself the permission to do a draft version. Meaning, there’s no need to get it done right the first time. Just creating a draft, even if it’s a crappy one, is better than if you didn’t do anything at all. Get started and things will roll on from there.
In the end, it’s really about hard work and persistence. It’s hard to finish projects until you’ve gone through the act of failing in finishing projects. I have definitely had my fair share of project failures.