August 15

Successfully Finish Your Project!

Successfully Finish Your Project!

By Deborah Johnson

August 15, 2017

creativity, healthy habits, mindsets, persistence

Successfully Finish Your Project!

After defining your project(s) are you able to successfully finish your project? Many start strong, but have a hard time staying on track to actually finish. 

Hopefully you’ve answered the question WHY do the project before even beginning. (See previous post) For example: writing a book? A good reason WHY you are writing helps you develop the seat-discipline it takes to not only write, but rewrite! (I know this well!) To finish your project(s) successfully, I have included 5 main steps to help you.

1. Break Your Project Down into Small Chunks

First and foremost, identify every single step (chunk) you can think of for your project to be completely finished. Don’t skip this step. It takes a bit of extra time to do this, but it will pay off when you’re able to successfully complete the full project.

When remodeling our kitchen, one of the most important elements of the process was obtaining a workable plan. The contractor wouldn’t even start until a feasible and suitable plan was executed. Why? Because most projects like ours, including quite a bit of demo work, need an exact sequence of events to make sure all parts would work together. (Such as plumbing, framing, electrical and even extra venting.) Take time to divide up your plan now, even in very small steps. If it’s something you can achieve in one month, still identify pieces to do weekly or daily.

2. Allot Enough Resources to Finish Your Project

As you’ve now identified every step of your project, allot enough resources to finish your project. Remember, most projects run over budget—just ask anyone who’s gone through a home remodel! Think of all the external items you’ll need to finish your project and add to that list. Going back to our kitchen remodel, it was imperative that I order a large dumpster.

It’s usually the extra surprise details that can halt a project. If a dumpster did not get on my ordering list, not having it could have halted the project because of the amount of debris and trash accumulated.

Most seasoned Entrepreneurs know that creating an actual project will be about 10-20% of the cost. The extra 80-90% is marketing. Many are unprepared for that surprising detail and scramble for years trying to make up the difference or actually even lose their business!

3. Create a Goal and Timeline

It doesn’t matter how large the project is, it’s good to create a timeline with short-term goals and steps to finish along the way. I’ll clue you in on a little trick I use. I work from the end, backwards. For example, if you want to accomplish something in a year’s time, break it up into twelve months with a small project for each month. Then break that up into days.

It’s amazing how well this works.This will apply to most anything. Work projects, home improvement projects and even losing weight and getting in shape. Put an exact date down right now for starting and finishing. Then divide it up. Remember, if you don’t actually start, you’ll never finish!

4. Schedule TIME to Work on Your Project

I am a creative artist. I readily admit this. (Maybe I should start a support group!) I did not inherit the organization gene. However, I have worked very hard to be organized and have successfully finished massive projects, including launching/producing two World Premieres of my original musicals. I say this not to brag, but I’ve discovered a system that works for me and many others.

Lists are very important and I still like a calendar I can write in. (Yes, I know I’m a Boomer!) Whatever you use, schedule in time on your calendar to work on projects, especially if they are large in scope. It’s really surprising how many don’t do this with projects. Meetings, yes, but projects? I also use a timer. Why a timer?

Because there are details I don’t especially enjoy doing. Or I may be tired and unmotivated. I use ten-minute segments. You can use any length you want, but use something. I guarantee this works! It sounds so logical, but so many don’t do it or think it’s silly. It’s one of the best tools I use to move any sort of project forward, especially when hitting steps that are more difficult or not fun.

5. Be Accountable

One of the main advantages of showing up every week for instruction, whether in music, dance, coaching or any other subject, is the accountability. (I started teaching privately when 13 so I understand this principle VERY well!)

When you are accountable to another person or instructor for a project, paper or article, there is an increased likelihood of completion. Also, I’ve learned that when people pay for something, they take it much more seriously. I have given away many hours of time and resources, (and still do!) but find that when a person has to make some sort of sacrifice, there is a greater impact and follow-through!

Get in a mastermind group, hire a coach, or even gather a group of trusted friends that are not just yes people in your life. Be vulnerable with your goals and dreams. It will make all the difference! Then be extremely consistent–you can’t quit now! I look forward to hearing of your success!

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Deborah Johnson

About the author

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain® and former president of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. She also hosts the popular podcast "Women at Halftime." Deborah provides tools to create your ideal lifestyle and work at mid-career or during the halftime of life, getting unstuck. You can live your second half fulfilled, focused and free! Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of multiple books, over twenty albums and musicals and speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.

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