I love, no, I adore planning, especially business planning and creating new projects. At the commencement of the second half of 2013, I underwent, a day full of creative brainstorming and strategic planning for my business. A few days ago, I became aware I had made little to no progress on the majority of my newly proposed projects. Like me, do you suffer from a lack of follow through? Do you enthusiastically start a project, then drop it to complete a new one? Does your list of incomplete personal goals or projects, frustrate you? There are four simple reasons, why many of us fail to complete tasks or achieve personal goals and four tips that will ensure you finish all of those amazing projects and personal goals, you have commenced.
Do not expect the creative process to be exciting all the time
The majority of people get caught up in the hype of the creative process. It’s easy to be motivated during the creative brainstorming portion that comes with projects. The project is bright, shiny and has that new car smell. It’s at the early stages of implementing a project that people discover the novelty and hype of a project can wear off quickly as the reality of hard work sets in. Unfortunately, the creative process can be monotonous, messy and hard; a far cry from the glamour and hype of the early brainstorming stages. To follow through, you will need to persevere through the difficult and not so glamorous aspects of the project.
Bite sized chunks
One of the main reasons why many people don’t finish projects or achieve their goals is because they don’t know how, or they become overwhelmed by the size of the project and give up. If you’re not sure how to achieve your goal, talk to someone who has already achieved a similar goal, take a course or use google. All the information you’ll ever need is out there, be proactive and go find it. When you’re faced with a huge project, or a massive personal goal, break it down into bite-sized chunks. You don’t need to know every task from beginning to completion. All you need to do is write down the first 5 tasks that will enable you to strive towards achieving your goal. Once you have completed the first five, start brainstorming the next five, or the remaining tasks until completion.
Goal: Write a Novel.
|1. Research writing tips from published authors & writing techniques.||Aug 3, 2013|
|2. Write a one line description of the story||Aug 10, 2013|
|3. Write a detailed description of plot||Aug 17, 2013|
|4. Create Character Arcs||Aug 24, 2013|
|5. Chapter Outlines||Aug 31, 2013|
The key to following through is breaking your goal down into manageable tasks with realistic deadlines. If you still feel overwhelmed, focus on achieving the task ahead of you. After all, if you’re travelling along an unlit road at night, all you see is a few meters ahead of you, very rarely to you see your destination from the start.
Don’t make it optional
How many times have you procrastinated at work until a couple of days before a deadline, then crammed all of your tasks into the next couple of days? It’s often easier to follow through on a task when you think there is no other option than to follow through on a promise you made to yourself about achieving a goal. Set a tight deadline, tell people about the task or goals you’re striving towards. There’s nothing more motivating than a due date and an audience who is expecting to see results. These two elements have been a huge motivator for me.
Go on a diet
I enjoy having a lot on my plate. Sometimes all the tasks that I have going on, can sometimes overwhelm me and become a hindrance to my ability to follow through. If projects where a buffet, I would have a little bit of everything on my plate. Sound familiar? Get into the habit of choosing one project and working on it until completion before commencing the next project. The most important element is finishing a task, focus on finishing. Once you have mastered the art of finishing, then you can start managing two tasks but this requires discipline, scheduling and follow through. It took me a couple of months to develop the habit of follow through. Those months consisted of focusing upon working on one task at a time and finishing before going on to the next task.
Struggling to follow through on your projects, goals or daily tasks? Don’t expect the creative process to be exciting all the time. Break projects down into bite-sized chunks. Don’t make follow through an option and go on a diet. Follow these four simple tips and send them to a friend. Let me know how you get on by sharing in the comments box below.