You get the idea. You’re excited about it. You start doing the research. You’re writing things down, you’re making moves and a few months in people are asking you, “What happened to that thing you were doing?”
You have no idea. It’s just another idea that never had the opportunity to be seen through.
I promise I am not judging you unlike Luvvie who probably would. But the reality is that you can’t go through life never finishing anything. I understand you because I used to be you. But I had to make some really important decisions to become a finisher.
I talked about it at my book launch in 2013 for Dear Love. What I appreciated so much about that moment was that it was one of the first things I honestly saw through from conception to completion. I had the idea. I stuck with it. I saw it through. I made one version that sucked. I persevered and made a version that didn’t suck and I finished it.
So often we abort ideas before they ever get anywhere. We talk ourselves out of it. We get distracted with 20 million other things. Sometimes we’re even just lazy. But when we finish things, even if the end result is less than stellar, it helps build the confidence that we can finish more. That we can do it again and that we have the stamina to see it through.
So I wanted to share a few things that I think you can focus on to become more of a finisher.
Keeping the main goal in mind. So often we get caught up in the small tasks of completing something and we easily get overwhelmed. I have found that “keeping my eye on the prize” for lack of a better term helps me stay diligent in the work that it will take to get there.
Discipline. IT TAKES DISCIPLINE. You have to be diligent and say to yourself, “I will finish it.” In that, you can’t be too tired. It can’t be too early. It can’t be that the sun is too bright so you’ll come back later. Have some dedication to the idea and I promise you that eventually you will see it through. Want to write that book? Make a commitment to write 30 minutes a day or 5 pages a day, whatever it is. And don’t slack. Push through.
Building better processes. This is a biggie and something that I really worked on towards the end of 2016 and will continue this year. When I have an idea or a project. I literally begin to write down every single task that I will need to complete in order to get it done. An event is the easiest example. So say you are planning for a workshop/panel. I would break down ALL of the tasks, but here are just a few.
- Secure venue and date
- Reach out to panelists
- Send panelist confirmations
- Book travel
- Solicit sponsorship
- Create ticketing page
- Create promo graphic
- Secure videographer
- Secure photographer
- Write email promo
- Write blog promo
- Write social media copy
It’s just very helpful to know everything that is ahead of you. Assign due dates and delegate to your team. Spacing the tasks out from week to week helps you not feel overwhelmed and helps you make sure you are not forgetting things that will need to happen to be complete.
Focus on one thing at a time. But honestly in this day in time I will say focus on one or three things. All of us are so multifaceted that it’s almost impossible to say focus on one thing. But the reality is that you cannot give everything ever all your attention at once. I also talk about the method that I learned from Nicole Waters which is an idea box. When you have a new idea, categorize it as 1-3 months, 3-6 months, or beyond. Then try your best to only take one card out of the box at a time until it’s finished.
See it through even if it sucks. Like I mentioned in the beginning, if you are not well versed in finishing, you just need to get your feet wet. We all have sucky ideas. Believe me. I have had things that essentially flopped. But I had to begin the process of seeing things through so that I would be able to even decipher good ideas vs. bad ideas. Now I can spot them a lot earlier, but it took time to get there.
Listen, we all have all these hopes and expectations for 2017. And if one of yours is being able to finish things, don’t worry because you can do it. Just like most things, we really just have to get out of our own way.
Keep working, change your mindset and watch how good it feels when you start finishing the things you start left and right.
Do you have any other methods that you use to help you see your ideas through from conception to completion? Feel free to share below in the comments.