10 Tips to Ensure You Always Finish What You Start
See Your Projects Through to Completion

The chances are that you’ll never get to see the 10 Tips nearly pile. There, you’ll find articles that never quite made the cut or didn’t have enough worthwhile to say to fill out a full 10 tips. They were started with the best intentions, but ultimately never published. Some make it into other features and live a different life that way but, for the most part, they’re started but never finished.

This can become a common problem for people and definitely doesn’t need to only apply to articles and written work. You might have a knitting pattern in the cupboard you got halfway through years ago and have never tried again since. You might be converting your summer house into an office and never quite made it operational. Basically, humans love the excitement of starting a new project, but if they don’t get it done quickly, they’re susceptible to running out of steam and leaving them unfinished for a very long time. We aim to change that, and there’s no better way to do so than to do what we do best, that being bringing our readers 10 great tips always to finish what they start!

1. Think Carefully about the Projects You Start

It might sound like something of a cop-out to cut down on projects you don’t finish by never starting them, but it really works. We already mentioned how people might thrive on the excitement of something new, but it is just as easy for that initial motivation to disappear as it was for it to become apparent in the first place.

If the project you have in mind will take half an hour, the chances are you’re safe if you’re sufficiently excited. However, you might have something in mind that you’ll work on as and when over a year or more. Those are trickier to assess. Ask yourself if the end result is enough to keep your spirits high for however long the project will take. If the answer is anything other than ‘yes’, now might not be the best time to start.

2. Consider the Extra Resources You Require

If you already have all the materials and equipment you need for your project of choice; you’re off to an excellent start. Many projects stagnate because the person involved runs out of time, money or both. Ensure you have a list of everything you need, and a budget set aside for unforeseen expenses to ensure that nothing comes between you and project completion.

3. Make a Plan for What to Do When

Another key reason why things never get done is that people confidently assert that they’ll get to it eventually. Sadly, ‘eventually’ never comes. You need to commit and set your expectations of what will get done and when it will get done by. If you have a timetable, you stand a better chance of motivating yourself even when you don’t particularly fancy the task at hand.

4. The End Result Doesn’t Have to be Perfect

Even when a project counts as complete, some people will not think of it this way as it’s not up to their standards. Being a perfectionist has its benefits, but if you’re running out of patience with a project, consider allowing less than perfect to count as complete. As long as the result works and does what it was intended for, you can always come back and work on it again in the future, while simultaneously knocking it off your ‘incomplete’ list.

5. Make a Commitment to Yourself or Someone Else

In many cases, you can take your own word for it when you say something will get done. However, this doesn’t work for everyone. If that’s the case for you, try to turn peer pressure in your favour. Most people hate to let others down, and if you tell someone you’ll do something, you’re more likely to do it rather than risk disappointing them. This works even better if they have a reason to keep you on track, such as some kind of benefit from the finished article.

6. Visualise the Result

The worst thing to feel part way through a project is a lack of direction. If you start second-guessing yourself and reconsidering whether the project is a good idea, your motivation can all but disappear. However, if you can picture the end result and the benefits that can come with it, you’re far more likely to stick to the task.

7. When Times Get Tough, Have Some Fun

Most things worth doing aren’t easy as such, but they don’t have to be boring either. When you reach an obstacle in the project, try to think of a fun way to approach it. If you’ve followed our tips and made a plan, you can potentially also mix up the order. As long as one task isn’t contingent on the completion of another, you can pick and choose depending on what you feel like doing on any given day.

8. Keep Track of Progress and Reward Yourself

Assuming you’re not working towards that half-hour project we mentioned previously, there will be natural milestones as part of your progress. Celebrate them when you reach and make a point of checking them off to show, at a glance, just how far you’ve come. Once you hit a big one, make sure to take some time out to celebrate with a reward of your choice, as you’ve done well to make it this far!

9. Bring in Help if you Need To

Let’s return to the idea of a garage conversion as a project. You may have planned to do it all yourself. However, you then thought about it and figured you might not be the best person to install plug sockets. You’re probably right. Rather than giving up and sacrificing all the time and effort you’ve already put in, bring someone else in to clear that obstacle and kick on with what you can do.

10. Sometimes, It Just Won’t Work Out

Okay, so we said that these tips would help you always to finish what you start. However, there will be exceptions. If you’ve done everything you can to rescue a project and still can’t see a finish line in sight, then it’s not the end of the world if you give up. You can always come back later, potentially with a different approach.