Many times, we start projects with so much enthusiasm but never see them through to their completion. The reasons for this may be due to circumstances beyond our control. However, in most cases, it is simply due to waning of our interest or plain laziness.
The problem with this is that it may happen too often that it becomes a habit. We end up wasting a lot of time and with a life of too many unfulfilled goals. We know that bad habits are difficult to break so the sooner we break this unproductive habit, the better for us.
Here are some tips on how we can do this:
Let us start with a plan. This is very important. We should first decide on what project to undertake. Make sure that the project is something we are passionate about. We must have a keen interest on what we do to prevent premature loss of enthusiasm in doing it. Every project carries with it some obligations, problems, and difficulties so we must be ready to anticipate them.
We should remember that abandoning a project we have started is a waste of time, energy, and resources. We could have better use of them elsewhere.
We should do resource planning. Let us envision what it will take to complete the project in terms of time, labour, and expenses. We need not be too detailed in our study at this stage but it will help us a lot to be aware of them before starting the project. What is important is to first have some sort of guideline to follow.
We must come up with a timetable. A timetable will give us a more definite and realistic schedule in doing the tasks to finish the project. Often times, the mere thought of tasks we still have to do causes us to give up prematurely. We should block out time in our calendar for each task into smaller portions. Each portion will have a deadline for its completion. This way, we avoid being overwhelmed by the things still left to be done.
We should be flexible with our timetable. There should be built-in buffers in our schedule in case of contingencies that may arise while doing the project.
Let us be realists rather than perfectionists. Aiming for a perfect accomplishment of things may be ideal but is it practical? Many projects are abandoned because of this lofty dream so they remain just that — unfulfilled dreams.
Perhaps, we can view perfection as a challenge to push us to achieving our goal but it should not hinder us from moving on. If we insist to coming out with a perfect or near perfect accomplishment, we can still do that if we are willing to pay the price — longer time.
We can sub-divide the small portions of tasks into smaller sections. This may mean spending more hours doing the tasks we subdivided. If we aim for more perfection, we can further sub-divide the tasks into even smaller mini bits. This will leave the tasks too simple and very easy to do perfectly. But don’t you think this will be doing it too far? Will the perfection we aim worth the time and resources we pour into it?
Let us be committed to our project. Our full commitment is necessary if we are to see the project through its completion. A lot of distractions and temptations to slacken our effort will come our way. We must be ready to face and overcome them. Among these distractions are: our addiction to social media, watching the TV, or going out often to socialize with friends. We not have to abandon these activities altogether. We need to unwind and refresh our minds every now and then, but we should be disciplined enough to limit them.
Being fully committed to our project will make it easier for us to avoid these distractions. We should set our priorities right and persevere to the end. We may encounter some tedious tasks during the course of work that may cause our enthusiasm to wane. When this happens, we should rest for a while and take time to recharge our mind and body. A leisurely walk outside, or a weekend trip in the countryside can do magic.
Let us always envision the reward we will reap when we successfully complete our project so as not to lose sight of our goal.
Monitor our progress. Keeping track of our mini accomplishments is a very good way to keep our self confidence. This confidence will fuel our enthusiasm to do a bit more when times get a bit rough and rub off some of the excitement in our job.
Keeping track of our progress helps us maintain our momentum. It makes us accountable to our goal and its achievement.
Reward ourselves. We must appreciate the effort we put in for the project. Rewarding ourselves for our mini accomplishments will boost our morale to do more. Let us try to make each reward commensurate to the tasks done well. Our rewards should range from a cup of coffee to a dinner, depending on the importance or enormity of the accomplishment.
May these tips help us maintain our enthusiasm and momentum until the successful completion of our project.