In 2015, I’m really focusing in on finishing things. Sounds simple, right? You start something. It begins. It comes into formation. Obviously…you need to bring it to an end.
I started a number of things last year: a few different crafting projects, some pieces of writing, a couple of classes. I would pick at them a little bit, then move on to something else. Then, I would remember them again. And freak out. Pick, pick, pick, put down, forget, remember, freak out. Rinse. Repeat.
Now, I’m trying to get stuff done. Here are a few habits I’m using to work on it.
1. Keep a list of projects somewhere close and where you can see them often. I’ve been using an Excel sheet as well as a file in Evernote to keep track of what I have been working on. This way, I can make notes about the last update I made, when I did it, and what is outstanding. It feels good to start crossing stuff out.
2. Ask the hard question: keep it or kick it? Once the To Do List gets long enough, it’s time to take a long look at what you’ve been working on. Why is it there? What is it adding to your life? What will come after it? Will it be there later when you have more time?
3. A little bit goes a long way. Okay, you don’t have time to sit down and finish the whole rough draft of your 300-page novel. However, I bet you have time to write a few sentences. Even the tiniest baby steps will make you feel more accomplished than procrastinating on it.
4. Set a date. Tired of seeing that unfinished craft project? Sure, nobody is waiting for it, so it’s up to you to pick a date to have it done by. Be realistic and honest with yourself. Even if it’s not for a few weeks (or even a few months), commit to having it finished by a deadline. Ask people to keep you accountable.
5. Don’t overthink it. Take a deep breath. Get to work. Don’t spend time stewing in your own brain, mulling over the, “Oh God, why didn’t I finish this before now” or “I can’t believe I put this off” or “There’s so much to do”…stop. Focus on the present. You can do it now. Just start.