How to Finish Something Once You Have Started
(this post is an addition to my previous post on Procrastination)
In my post on procrastination I mentioned my battle with procrastination that I fought in order to get my book done. I thought it would be good to describe more specific steps you can take to finish whatever project you have started but are having a hard time finishing.
1) Set a Deadline Date
Pick a date when your project must be completed. Be realistic with this date. Put it on a calender, and hang it up. I don’t recommend putting it in your phone calender because I think it helps to have a calender hanging in front of you as a visual reminder.
2) Set a Week by Week Plan
At the beginning of every week, set a plan for yourself for that week. Outline what you will do everyday of that week. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too much. Again, be realistic. Keep a list of things you need to do each week and break it down into days. Set daily goals and meet them. Even doing something small each day is good because at least you did something. For example, I’ve heard people say that if you write one page every day, in one year you will have a 365 page book.
Create daily goals that will be easy for you to meet. Whenever you meet a goal, it will increase your self-confidence and you will trust yourself more to get things done the next day.
When you create unrealistic goals it will make the project seem like too much work and will turn you off to the entire endeavor.
3) Reward Yourself Daily
When you meet your daily goals you should reward yourself with little rewards. It will help keep you on track. It’s okay to treat yourself. Rewards go a long way in keeping you focused on your goal.
4) Get a Support Team
Get a group of people together that you trust to help nudge you along your way. It helps to have a few friends or family on your side checking in on your progress.
Be careful though, they are not there to nag you or belittle you. Choose a support team who will be a good influence on you. Don’t pick your friend who likes to put you down (why is he your friend anyways?) or your friend who never gets anything done themselves. Pick someone who will encourage you. They are there to give you positive reinforcement and to give you a gentle nudge when you need it.
When I was writing my first book my friends and family kept me going by telling me they couldn’t wait to read it. They weren’t pestering me or belittling me. They were just a gentle push to keep me going. A positive nudge or two from people who believe in you is good to have.
5) Visualize Your Final Product
Imagine your final finished product in your mind. If it is a house renovation you are doing, see it finished in your mind. If you are working on a book, visualize the finished book and your name on it.
Go a step further and imagine all of the things you will do when you are finished and plan for it. For example, plan the party you will have once the house renovation is done. If your goal is to lose weight, what will you do with all of your old clothes and what new ones will you need? Plan for it and the final product will come.
6) Reward yourself When You Reach Your Goal
Plan for how you will reward yourself once you reach your goal and put it up as a reminder for yourself to keep you going. For example, if you are planning to go to Miami once you meet your goal then you may want to put up a picture of Miami somewhere where you can see it. It will help keep you on task and focused.
Remember, when you take on too much at once you get burnt out and are more likely to either quit completely or take too long a break from the project. If that happens, when and if you return to the task it may prove to be difficult to pick up where you left off.
When you use each day to your advantage and set realistic goals. Before you know it you are already at the finish line and ready to reap the rewards of all of your hard work.