Focus is something I struggle with every day. I think it’s both a blessing and a curse: it allows me to see plans and ideas through but it also holds me back from moving on to new projects and concepts. I always wonder to myself: am I spending too long on this project and is this project really what I should be pursing right now?
To me, time is the most precious thing we have and wasting it isn’t an option. In hindsight I would not say that time spent possibly “beating a dead horse” of a concept is wasted time, primarily because I don’t think there’s been a time in my life where I’ve done that, but, as I see it, the amount of perceived progress on a project has an exponential inverse relation to the amount of time spent on it. For example: you might feel extremely productive getting a website set up, building an MVP, etc during the first few weeks of a project, but as you iterate and build out features and spend hours fixing bugs, it seems to me like the time isn’t being spent as efficiently as possible.
This is foolish, I know, as it’s not productive to keep creating new projects every few weeks and dropping them, but it still doesn’t help me maintain focus on arduous projects completing the “grunt work”, so-to-speak. I’m no stranger to following through on projects for months on end, but that doesn’t mean that I maintain the same level of interest or excitement as I did when I first started working on the concept. So I’ve done some thinking and I’m going to list off a few things I think that I’ll start implementing so that I see more projects through to the end.
This might annoy my friends and family, but I think that telling people what I’m going to do will force me to follow through if I like it or not. Having someone else there that is at least aware of my intentions might provide some motivation to finish.
I want to start creating physical task lists for projects. That way I will be able to see my process in a more quantifiable way. Of course, I’ll need to keep up on adding more tasks and removing them as I work on aspects of a concept.
Similar to the first point, providing updates on the progress of a project to groups like social media followers will give me more reason to follow through. Possibly, even, they would provide feedback on what I’m doing and what I could improve on.
Remind myself of how good it’ll feel once I’m able to push the site live, hit publish, or whatever I need to do to finalize the creation and share it with the world. I feel like this is the best source of intrinsic motivation.
A downside of a curious mind is that it constantly wanders. I need to allow my mind of roam free at times but learn to put a leash on it when the time it right, not pulling too hard but still ushering it in the right direction so that I have some fruit at the end of the journey.