The start of something gets us all excited, giddy and perhaps a little obsessed but it doesn’t last. As time passes, it starts to feel like a chore, and you start to do it rather begrudgingly, then you can’t take it anymore because it became increasingly soul-sucking overnight and so you figure out that the only seemingly viable thing to do was to drop it like hot coal. You’ve had enough.
This is more common than you think, it happens to everyone who is not a robot/humanoid/superman.
How do you get rid of this behavior? Take a breather, now let’s finish this step by step:
1. See ahead:
Before embarking on a new project, review and research the process of achieving the end product for this project. See the big picture. Do your research well and think about this through clear lenses. Are you up for the task? Seriously are you really up for this? Make sure you’ve an idea of what it takes, are you still interested?
2. Make up your mind:
Prepare your mind for the task adequately and get into the mindset. See the goal and see yourself achieving the goal/end result. Maybe you want to learn Japanese, learn to bake or write a book in 2 months. See yourself already as a rockstar Japanese speaker,a baker or an author in your mind’s eye.
3. Step-ify your action plan.
A rough plan draft might not be enough. Break your awesome plan into tiny basic actionable steps and write it down. The steps should be well detailed and noted in the best suitable order.
4. Don’t get stuck planning.
You’ve got work to do. Remind yourself to the actual work needed. This is not the fun part but that’s why you need the tiny steps in your work plan, it makes the work easier. Also, you can track your progress, when you tick off the steps you have completed.
5. Document your progress.
Write, take pictures or videos, anything to record your progress. The more progress you can see, the more inspiration you get. Oftentimes, it’s when we see that things are not really working out we start giving up. If you can make visible your progress no matter how little by documenting it, you’ll be less likely to give up.
6. Take scheduled effective breaks.
All work and no play is really ineffective. Stop and take a purposeful rest break for recharging purposes. Get away from it for a little while so you don’t tire yourself and become fed up.
7. Ride the motivation waves.
Here’s a secret, motivation comes in waves and bouts of energy. Ride the next one when it shows up. Ride it by doing the higher see energy, more intense work during the session, then you can go slower as it slows down.
If you fall down, you have to stand up and keep moving simply because you have a destination and you won’t get there by staying down.
Persistence works in the same way, if you get stuck on your work, come out and “unstuck” yourself. Use willpower, use your determination and remind yourself of whatever progress you’ve made so far to motivate yourself to keep going.
9. Enjoy it
Just enjoy yourself during the process from start to finish. Find little ways to enjoy the process. Loosen up and inject a little fun to your work.
10. Make sure its giving you value.
If its not giving you value, don’t anymore.
For example: struggling to finish a book you perceive as boring when you can be reading tons of amazing writing and blogs like this one. Because you’ve written the book off as boring, you probably won’t learn anything from it because it won’t stay with you.
How do you finish what you start?