Are you a quitter instead of a finisher? Do you have trouble finishing many things that you start? I know I have had issues with this and have often found myself with a ton of projects, ideas, books, etc. all in half-complete stages or just simply left behind. Well for today’s post I present my 5 top tips for helping you to be a finisher and stop being a quitter.
The first tip is probably the most important. You just can’t do everything in life. When you try to do too many different things and get spread too thin, this is the single biggest threat to becoming a quitter. Instead, focus on what you really want to spend your time doing and minimize out everything else. For example, I was signed up for several survey-taking websites. I had made decent money over the years taking surveys, but I figured out that it took up considerable time to complete the surveys and took time away from what I really wanted to be doing with this blog and other online ventures. I chose to quit the surveys so I could finish more items that i really wanted.
- Quit what you don’t really want or need so you can focus on finishing the important things.
Once you have cleared away the extraneous items and tasks, look at what you have left. If you really are passionate about something then take the time to reflect on why you want to accomplish that project and imagine what it will feel like to complete it. Make a commitment to the task and make a conscious commitment to finishing the task.
- Knowing why you are doing something – and having a vision of what it will feel like to complete it – can help you make it to the end.
Now that you have committed to a small selection of items, put each part of the task in an order and do the steps one at a time. One huge risk of being a quitter is taking a shotgun approach and doing a little here and a little there. You can’t tell how much progress you are making and it isn’t clear what to do next. If you know exactly what comes next, it makes it easier to overcome that inertia and jump back in when you have time.
- Do things one step at a time to get to the finish.
Having good organizational skills will help you immensely when it comes to finishing projects. Keep all your supplies or equipment organized and in good shape. Being organized will help you to track how far along in the project you are so you can clearly know what is left to accomplish. Also, when everything is well-organized you will find that you want to keep going and it will be easier to pick up where you left off.
- Clarity will help you see where you are in the process and make it easier and more enjoyable to keep going.
This is somewhat in opposition to #1, Minimize. You can’t completely minimize and only have a single thing to work on, so segment your life into different areas. Then when you have a specific area, it is much easier to apply all the rest of the rules to a specific segment. For example, I had a ton of books I wanted to read and I had about 4 different books that I started and never finished. I segmented “book reading” and got my act together. Then in this narow space, I was able to apply the other tips much easier. First, I made a commitment to set aside time for reading and finish everything I had started. Then, I serialized reading them by putting my books in a stack right on my nightstand and read only the top one. I also organized my reading by setting up an account at goodreads.com to track the books I had read, were currently reading, and planned to read.
- Divide and conquer: apply all the other tips to each segment of your life.
I challenge you today to start with #5 and segment areas of your life. Then find one segment – an important one, or maybe a small simple area to get you moving – and then apply the tips to that area.
Good luck, and make sure to give me feedback if this was helpful or if you have your own suggestions.