Why I don’t finish everything I start

Through the course of our lives, we all start things. We start reading books and watching movies, we start projects, companies and we start bringing ideas somewhat closer to life.

When we think about the things we start it’s obvious that some of our ideas and projects won’t be worth the time we spend on them, while others will.

Leaving things unfinished goes against our nature, our upbringing. We hold to finalisation almost religiously, almost as a matter of pride. But why?

“Consider everything an experiment.” 

~ Corita Kent

I made the conscious decision several years ago to only finish the things that were worth my time. It sounds obvious, I know, but somehow we want to ignore all reason and just push on. Perhaps it’s because we feel we’ve put too much time into the project at hand to let it slip away now. Perhaps it’s just our stubborn nature not wanting to admit that perhaps we missed the mark on this one.

Just make something

I’ve found that whenever I’m bored, stressed or tired just starting something helps me. It helps me stay busy, stay occupied and by the end of the day I feel I’ve done something worthwhile.

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” 

~ Stephen King

I am, at my very center, a creative person. I thrive when I’m creating something or making something. But I’m also a results orientated person. Now you’re wondering why am I writing about all my unfinished projects when I clearly only care about the finished product. Well, I treat my skill and creativity as something worth working towards and something worth expanding on.

All my failed side projects and ideas simply help to build my creativity and therefore bring me closer to the imminent result of creating quality things.

I try to start lots of projects because it makes my mind think laterally about the problems at hand, and this, in turn, grows my problem solving and creativity.

Leave it for a while

Sometimes the best thing to do with a project is to leave it alone for a while and come back in an hour, a week, a month or even a year.

This allows time for fresh ideas to dilute the preconceptions we subconsciously have surrounding our projects.

Time also allows a chance to reassess whether something is actually worth finishing.

Time is valuable

Time is the one thing we can’t buy or earn more of. Don’t waste your time finishing something when it’s not worth the effort, but more importantly don’t finish something that wastes your time.

Imaginative creativity takes time, but there’s rarely beneficial to waste time once the lesson of a non-finisher has been learned.


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