I am one of those people who gets excited about something new and can’t wait to get started. That excitement can carry me a long way into finishing that project. Over the years though I’ve found that I’m not very good at finishing things. I get about 80% done and my momentum and excitement go way down. This inevitably opens the door for me to get distracted by another project.
As you all could probably tell from my 101 Goals, Wants and desires post, I have no shortage of things I get excited about and want to do. I love that feeling of learning or creating something new that will be useful to me my entire life. From building furniture, developing software to Real Estate Investing there is always something for me to start doing. I’ve just been having trouble finishing things.
Why do am I not finishing what I start?
My feelings is because the excitement has gone away, leaving only hard work. If you have ever read The Dip by Seth Godin, this is what he is talking about. When I hit the dip, I usually start getting anxious to finish up as quickly as possible. This causes me to cut corners and do things half assed. Not to mention, by this time something else has caught my attention that I’m eager to get started on. Bad combination!
Is this New project going to distract me from finishing something I’ve already started?
A divided mind gets me no where fast. The reason is that my mind will keep jumping back and forth between projects, killing my concentration. Combining a divided mind with a short attention span causes me to waste a lot of time during the day.
Side note…It’s kind of funny, I had a few different ideas for this post and I can feel my brain jumping from between the different ideas. I am finding it hard to keep the direction of this post consistent.
One way I try to squash the distractions is to ask myself if it is going to distract me from what I’m currently working on. The answer is almost always yes. What I then do is write down my new idea and then continue on with what I’m doing. This really helps me stay focused and allows me to completely finish before starting my next project.
I know many of you have the same problem as I do. What tricks do you have to keep you on track and finish up something you’ve started?
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Hey, Scott. I find that typing up a to do list for the week or month or project (depending on the size of the goal), printing it and leaving it on my desk helps me to focused on a task and to see quickly where I am at in the process.
I do my best work when I do that. I am not sure why I don’t create lists all the time, it must be laziness or something. Because I do work both at home and at my JOB, I right up my notes using google docs so I can access them from any computer.
Good point, Danny. There is something very pleasing about marking items off of a checklist. It gives you a sense that you are getting things done, and accomplishing something. And then as you work toward the last couple of items on the list, you are motivated to finish them off.