Which gives you more satisfaction… starting something new or finishing something old?
A lot of folks (maybe you) are easily bored or distracted and jump from one project to the next without ever finishing what they started. There is a freshness and excitement to starting a new project that is difficult to overcome. I’ll admit to struggling with this problem myself on occasion.
This isn’t to say that giving up on an old project is always a bad idea.
If you’re not especially passionate about the project, if you’re not improving upon a concept, if time has made the project irrelevant, then it might be better for you (and the rest of the world) if you simply walked away and found something else to work on that met those criteria — similar to the situation Seth Godin describes in one of his shortest (but perhaps most poignant) books, The Dip.
Now “Flip The Dip” …
Ask yourself which would give your customer (or the world) more satisfaction… starting something new or finishing something old?
If you promised a client you were going to work on project or provide a service, you need to follow through. No matter how bored or distracted you may be feeling, you owe it to them to complete and deliver the project prior to chasing any shiny new squirrels.
I wrote about the pros and cons of “shiny squirrels” in a recent email sent exclusively to list members. If you don’t want to miss any future secret insights, make sure you sign-up today!
Some methods you can try in order to Flip The Dip
Remind yourself why you started and why the project is important.
You may have lost focus on “the mission” and thus your passion for the project. Make a list of the original reasons you agreed to take on this project in the first place. Whose life will it make better? How do they benefit?
Break your old project down into smaller (newer) components.
“Chunking” the tasks required to complete the project will make it feel easier to see the path toward completion and creating the new chunks will go a long way toward making the project feel fresh again.
Buy a new tool.
A friend of mine loves working on projects around the house. He always seems to have 3 or 4 improvement projects taking place at the same time (and he finishes every single one of them!) One of the constants I’ve noticed in every project he undertakes is the fact he always shows off a new construction tool he bought in order to complete the project. The personal reward he gets from buying and using that new “toy” drives him to finish the project and move on to the next one (probably so he can buy another new tool!) With all the new apps and websites and office supplies being released daily, perhaps you can find one that will aid in the completion of your project. Make a deal with yourself to finish the project and invest in the new tool that will help you complete it more efficiently.
There is no substitute for this last method. Whether you choose to try all (or none!) of the suggestions above, it will always come down to this final choice: