Thursday, October 03, 2013

How to Finish What You Have Started

by HENRIK EDBERG

Simply getting up from the chair, stopping all the theorizing and getting started is one of the biggest issues I believe people face. But to keep going until something is finished can also be a big issue (it has certainly been so at times for me at least).
I have however found a few solutions that work for me and help me to reach the finish line. Feel free to chime in with your own solutions that work for you in the comments.
Let go of perfectionism.
This has been a pretty big issue for me in the past. You want to polish everything until it is “perfect”. The problem is just that such thinking often leads to many things not ever being finished.
So you have to find a balance for yourself where you do good work and don’t slack off but at the same time don’t get lost in trying to improve and polish something too much.
I have found that balance through experience.
It is also very important to be aware that nothing will ever be perfect. Striving for perfection can be pretty dangerous. Because you will never feel like you are good enough.
You have set the bar at an inhuman level. And so your self esteem stays low even though your results may be very good.
So just focus on gradually being more consistent instead trying to be perfect.
Realize that good enough is good enough. And that goes both for your work and for you.
Set a deadline.
A few months ago, I set a deadline for when my ebook should be finished. I had realized that just working on it and releasing it when it was done would not work. Because I could always find stuff to add to it. So I had to set a deadline. Sure, I still missed it by a few days but finally I did the last 30 percent of the work and was done with it.
Setting a deadline gave me a kick in the butt and it is generally good way to help you to let go of a need to polish things a bit too much.
Limit yourself in all kinds of ways.
The last part of a project or a task can often feel pretty hard and it’s easy to get lost in procrastination. By setting limits for how often you check email each day, how much time you spend on social networks and forums, how much time you take to make small everyday decisions you can over a month or two develop these things into habits that run automatically most of the time.
By incorporating limits like these into your lifestyle you are less likely to get distracted during the last part of the work and you can keep
your eye on what’s important.
Make it light, don’t create a heavy cloud of drama, problems and complications in your mind.
Realize that much of this is in your head. Your perspective determines to a large degree what you see.
Your relationships to what you want to achieve are – just like your relationships to people – to a large extent just in your head. Try thinking that something is easy and simple instead of “heavy” and complicated and your perception of that external thing you want to achieve tends to change too. Experiment and find healthy and effective relationships to what you want to achieve instead of just seeing something like many people may do.
Bring awareness to you own thought patterns by asking yourself questions like:

“Honestly, am I overcomplicating this?” and
“What is the simplest and most straightforward solution to my problem?”

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