Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Motivation, I Can't Get No...

It's incredibly difficult just to get motivated and then just as difficult to stay motivated.

My big projects always take three times longer than planned. As the days and weeks tick by, it's hard to keep working.

I like starting projects,  I don't like finishing them as much. 

I like the planning, figuring out how to make it work, and solving the puzzle. Once it's built, I often slow down on the finishing process, because the work is done and what's left is just polishing. I like starting projects,  I don't like finishing them as much. Once the project is built, the puzzle has been solved, and that's the part I like.

What can wreck the progress on my projects worse than anything is taking a break. A quick break is good, but on my sidewalk project when it snowed 6" I couldn't work on it for a full week. My momentum suddenly stopped. I had been working on it from 9 to 12 every night and full days on the weekends.
That week off turned into two, and then three. Its hard to get back to a stalled project. I finally did get back to it and finished it.

This happens often with my video projects. I have a number of videos I've started, that for whatever reason  I had to stop working on them, and they are sitting, some for as many as three years.

How do I, and in turn how can you stay motivated?

Set deadlines to stay motivated.

With a hard deadline I often achieve amazing results. I often set self imposed deadlines, and while I often miss those deadlines (remember when I said projects often take me three times longer) it does motivate. When I miss that deadline,  I want to make  up the work unfinished. I'm a completionist and I'm competitive, so this works for me.

Focus on the finished product.

There is definitely a joy to finishing a project. Don't leave a  project at good enough. Usually the hard part is over. When I get to the finishing/polishing stage and consider the job done, I keep telling myself it's almost over, finish it to check one more thing off my to do list. I like checking that box. 

If all else fails, don't start another project until you've finished the one you're on. I often do this. If I didn't, I would have a lot of unfinished projects.

What project do you need to finish? Get started and check it off your to-do list.
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