Peter Smith

Publications, Lectures and Other Stuff

Motivation and Finishing Projects

I just read “How Do I Motivate Myself to Finish Projects?”  by Milena Rangelov

It’s a useful set of ideas to help us to finish projects.

The reference is here:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/quora/2016/04/20/how_do_i_motivate_myself_to_finish_projects.html

 

This is the list of 10 points summarized (see the article for details):

 

  1. Focus on why. Having a sense of purpose is the best motivator. What is the purpose of your project?
  2. Write down the list of benefits of finishing this particular project. Focus on the benefits of finishing. What are the good things on the other side?
  3. Come up with a deadline. It makes us procrastinate less and come up with an action plan.
  4. Announce the deadline. If you’re the only one holding yourself accountable, you will be very likely to skip the deadline. When you announce your deadline to someone else, it takes on much greater significance. You cannot let those people down. They will expect results from you. That’s how you build your credibility. Your ability to finish will not be questioned.
  5. Track your progress.
  6. Work in small steps, but get ready for a few long and focused sessions. Small steps will take you far. Work slowly, consistently, and diligently.
  7. Complete smaller challenges first. That’s how you build consistency. If something can be done in less than two minutes, do it now. That way you will finish a number of small tasks, feel accomplished, and build momentum to finish bigger projects.
  8. Kill your perfectionism. Perfectionism is a huge enemy of getting things done. You will never do a project perfectly. Do good, quality, valuable work. Wrap it up. Ship it.
  9. Remember that finishing gives you new energy. Carrying a whole bunch of unfinished tasks requires too much mental work. It drains your energy.
  10. You don’t have to finish everything. Maybe finishing is not what you really need. It depends on the project & what its purpose is. Procrastination can be a form of intuition; you may feel that a certain endeavor is not the best use of your time. Persistence is valuable, but only if you persist on meaningful things. If you persist in doing the wrong things over and over again, it will lead you nowhere. I never finish the book I don’t like after 50 pages or the movie that doesn’t resonate with me after 30 minutes.

See also: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/files/theshipitjournal.pdf

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This entry was posted on April 24, 2016 by in Organization and tagged , .
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