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Why is it so hard to finish a project?

Updated: Dec 25, 2022

I’m going to do it. I have just one more week till my ‘blogaversary’ and I have only 2 more blogposts to go (including this one). Yes for some reason it feels so hard. I can see the finish line approaching but it doesn’t make the job any easier. I still have a hundred excuses as to why I should skip this week’s post, and a list just as long of tasks that need to be completed. One would think that knowing that the end is in sight would make the time pass quicker. But honestly it hasn’t. Each Thursday, which has now turned into Friday, I keep snoozing the ‘write blogpost’ task over and over until finally I take care of it. And the funny thing is, I actually enjoy writing the posts. It’s not a burden at the time. But it is still a challenge to overcome every single day.

If we think about most tasks, we can probably break them down into 4 parts (of course, this only speaks for tasks In which we don’t quit in the middle)

1. Getting started (0-15%) – you feel an initial degree of euphoria and you are motivated to get the task going

2. Projects off the ground (15%-40%) – you’ve hit some roadblocks but are staying optimistic

3. You’re in a groove (41%-85%) - the project fluctuates with good days and bad days, you are consistent at times and possibly not at others. There are days that you consider quitting.

4. Nearing Completion (86-100%) – there’s no turning back now, so you draw from your reserves of energy to finish the task

If we think about these steps in a vacuum, we might be confused and instinctively assume that steps 1 and 4 are equally as easy, as they both come with an added passion and excitement. But in reality, this isn’t the case. We needed an extra push at step 4 – although the end is in sight it doesn’t give us enough adrenaline to make it to the finish line. That push will (probably) not come from external sources, as it must come from within. At stage 4, you become your biggest cheerleader and mind over matter becomes the mantra of the times. You need constant reminders to stay on task, and you will set them, as you are motivated to finish. But as soon as that motivation dwindles, as soon as you forget the original reason that pushed you to take on the project, you are at risk. At risk for not finishing the task, at risk for becoming a less committed person and at risk for not following through on your convictions. In essence, although step 4 is last, and it makes up for the small percentages of the stages, it in fact is most crucial. It will separate the achievers from the non, and will prove who can see a project through to the very end and who will quit when the going gets tough.

Knowledge is power. Knowing about the trappings of stage 4 is enough to keep you on high alert. When you approach the final step of the task, recommit yourself to the project at hand. Finishing tasks is not just about that specific task. It’s much bigger and defines who you are as a person. It serves to secure your role in the ‘committed club,’ a secret society for people who know how to get things done. Maybe after this one push you’ll be invited to the meetings

Still have one more task to do today? Go out and do it!

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