Why do I have trouble finishing projects I start?

photo of woman looking on computer

I have trouble finishing projects I start, at times I find myself disillusioned by the idea that art and skill is cultivated, sure you may be a natural but maintaining a steady flow of creativity is something that goes beyond talent, it’s patience. I’ve always had trouble with that word. I’ve yet to figure out what true patience is like, and I can assume most people probably feel the same way. Sometimes we find ourselves enthralled in an idea, where every moment is consumed with the notion that in some future it will be complete. It’s like opening a present on Christmas morning, once you’ve untied the big red bow and ripped away the wrapping, there’s a box and inside that box is everything you’ve ever wanted. Except reality isn’t that simple.

Don’t get me wrong, I put in the work. When an idea comes to me it’s like a blooming flower, all the pieces of the puzzle are slowly going into their tight nit places. I care about my projects, my art, but what happens when you’re done? When you’ve finished writing that short story, finished making that website or just added the last licks to your painting? For me that’s when my dysphoria sets in. It’s like a tidal wave of self-doubt, whether or not the content is of the standard I believed it would be. It may have been, but once the seed of doubt has been planted it’s a downward spiral, getting back up those flights of stairs has never been easy – it wears you out like a stamina bar that’s suck on low.

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Planning ahead is key when it comes to staying focused. Having a pre-determined schedule to follow works wonders, there are so many ways to ensure that you stay committed beyond your first or second attempt at something. May it be a rewards system in which you are not allowed to do those things that give you immediate gratification like scrolling endlessly through twitter, until of course you’ve reached the milestones you had previously set for yourself.

Another thing to remember that’s crucial to ensuring you stay on-task; do not burn yourself out! It’s so easy when you don’t have a regular routine to become excited and churn out big chunks of content, or complete parts of your project in record time, when the adrenaline fades you’re stuck with almost a resentful view towards that blog you can’t think of any more content for or that short story that drifts off right before the final chapter you refuse to complete.

Peer reviewing your work might just revitalize that spark to finish what you started! When you’re beginning to feel demoralised or unwilling to continue, talk to a friend or family member. Show them what you’ve been working on and gouge their opinions on the matter. Did you know that when you are complimented your brain is triggered into releasing dopamine, which is bound to grease the wheels of productivity. “That’s not just how you feel, that’s what really happens in your brain.

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Sorting out my priorities is number one now when embarking on a new journey, creating lists and goals to achieve what I want, I also make sure to have general lists towards my day-to-day, even outside of of my work environment. It may seem daunting to schedule things such as workouts and free time, but for me it became a smooth productive process. I was able to spend my time working and focused knowing that afterwards I would get to relax – this gives you a healthier mental environment to compartmentalise your productivity as well as your happiness.

I won’t claim to be anywhere near an expert, quite the opposite really but during my own journey with this struggle I decided that sometimes it takes stepping out of your tired ineffective cycles and put in some failsafe’s to ensure you are always on your toes and ready to tackle oncoming flows of work as and when they come.

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