Unfinished projects do not just take up a lot of physical space contributing to clutter, but also sit in the back of your mind, causing mental clutter and frustration. There is more to it, you feel guilty about the time and money you’ve spent and are disappointed in yourself for not being able to finish them.
You tend to blame your inability to complete stuff to a lack of time, but if you are honest you will find many other contributors; like perfectionism, not finding the specific materials to complete a project, don’t find information that you need to complete an article, there is no urgency to complete it, or you have lost interest.
There are several options to follow:
- Give up on it
- Take a different approach
- Finish it
Decide what route you want to take?
Give up on it
If a project has been sitting there for years, there might be another reason than just losing interest or not having time.
Be honest with yourself and ask why you haven’t finished the project? It might have been too difficult to complete, like starting a cross stitch project where it becomes difficult to see the pattern and count the thread of the weave. Having found the reason, you sit with the predicament of what to do with the materials and the half-finished item.
- Find an acquaintance who is interested to finish it
- Use the materials for something else and ditch the unfinished project
- Give away the materials to a group that will use it.
Take a different approach
Did the project become a grind, did you feel overwhelmed, but you still want to get it done? Do a reality check. Look at ways and means to change your outlook on a specific project. Give yourself permission to give up on part of it, like for instance not buying any more material or sourcing something specific which you couldn’t find before or getting the missing information for the article and just do it!
- Determine where you are at
- Decide what you would need to do, to get it to a level to be acceptable to you, to finish the project.
- Include less detail
- Shorten it / diminish it without losing the essence
Finish the project
If the project is really worthwhile you owe it to yourself to finish it
- Set yourself a deadline – I’m always amazed what can be achieved if you want to complete something by a certain date. It keeps you focussed and you get things done. Write it in your diary and be serious about finishing the tasks to complete the project.
- Tell someone about your deadline, it will give you something to discuss and knowing that someone else is waiting for completion, will keep you committed
- Make a to-do list – Break the project down in smaller activities which are easier to complete with achievable goals. Devote time to it and write your deadlines for it in your calendar. Work on it regularly and eventually you’ll get it done.
The interesting thing is; that once you have decided to allocate time and to actually finish a project, it feels less daunting. You get it done, even when you don’t feel like it, because you have committed to it.
The discipline and commitment to getting projects done will free your mind and open the flow for new creativity and fun projects.