Start to Finish

Start to Finish.  Why is getting from the start to the finish so hard?
The Start and Finish Line of the "Inishowen 100" Scenic Drive

Why can’t it be this easy? (photo credit: Andrew Hurley via Flickr)

It is so easy to start writing this post and yet filling the page with words and pictures that are good enough to click on that button over there that says “publish” is hard work.   I think it’s tempting to think that people who don’t finish what they start are lazy and simply don’t want to do the hard work required.  I get upset with myself for being lazy when I don’t take projects all the way from start to finish.  Honestly, sometimes I am lazy.  However, I think struggling with follow through is not really about being lazy.
Here are few reasons why I personally struggle with taking my projects from start to finish:
  • Overwhelm:  I start what I think will be a small, simple project and it snowballs out of control.  I like to call this the “nothing is ever simple” problem.  I can’t deal with the project so I have to walk away from it.  The problem, of course, is that sometimes I fail to return to it until it is worse than even the initial overwhelm.

  • Terrified of the Time:  I know it only takes 10 minutes to unload the dishwasher.  I also know that it will likely take a bit longer than that to sort through all the “I don’t know what to do with it” papers around here.  I want to make sure I can give my projects the amount of time required to do the job properly.

  • The Other People Piece of the Project:  Some projects require the assistance of other people whether it comes from getting information or help from them or simply needing their input and ideas to move forward.  This means that some projects get put on hold according to a timetable that is not my own.

  • Distraction:  I think I’m probably not alone on this one especially.  My post about the long and winding road describes it fairly well, I think.  Basically, one minute I’m putting away a lost photo and then, an hour later I’m still reminiscing over old vacation photos.

  • The Murky, Messy Middle Baffles Me:  This sounds a bit like a repeat of overwhelm but it is not overwhelm so much as simply not being sure of what to do to get from start to finish.  I know I need a system for all my papers but I am not sure what system will work best for me.  Sometimes I put my projects on hold to mull over the best available solutions.  Sometimes those solutions simply don’t come in a very timely manner.

Most of these simply require that I take a deep breath and push through.  What would you add to the list?  Which one do you struggle with the most?
This is part of my 31 Days of Follow Through series.  In keeping with the over-all theme of the series, each day I am also committing to following through on a task and encourage you to do the same.   My task for today is to clear off and organize J’s bookcase (an item from around the house on my master list that I actually started on Friday).



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8 thoughts on “Start to Finish

    1. Jean Post author

      I think distraction is a big one for most of us. Seems like there are a lot more distractions now as well.

  1. Lisa @ The Meaning of Me

    I understand this completely, Jean! And I agree with you – what appears to be simply lazy is often about something else. One of the best books I’ve read yet is You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy? by Kelly and Ramundo. I think it was one of my first ADD/ADHD reads when I was newly diagnosed or in the process of being diagnosed. It explains a LOT about this very sort of thing.
    Overwhelm is a big one for me – it’s too big, so I’ll ignore it. But it just gets bigger. And distraction is a huge one for me. Even though I know there are reasons for the things I do (like the sorting through old pictures one…did that this summer!), it’s still difficult not to judge and disparage yourself. But that’s a dangerous game.
    What I find most helpful is a reminder of what I was doing – my Hub is good at gently saying “You’re looking at photos. Weren’t you originally going to organize that closet?” Oh, right…and I can get back on track. And one of my best tools is the fifteen minute rule – just do something for even fifteen minutes. Patty talked about a similar thing on her blog today – do something, even if it’s just one task in a small window of time.
    Eventually, we’ll get there!
    Lisa @ The Meaning of Me recently posted..Soup of the Week – Teaser EditionMy Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      I may have to check that book out. It is always nice to have someone to hold your hand and guide you back to the path isn’t it? I’ll have to go check out Patty’s blog post. This week is not cooperating with giving me enough free time to do the things I want to do.

  2. Deanna

    I am right there with you with being overwhelmed. I’ve got two BIG projects in the works, that really shouldn’t be in the condition that they are in, but I pulled out more than I could put back. I’m not lazy, majority of the time, just feeling hopeless about it all sometimes.

    I get distracted all of the time. I resemble the prior two, waiting on other people, and time as well. But I truly do get distracted while doing one thing and end up doing ten others, but not the original thing I was working on originally.

    I too am often stifled by how to go about it, and what would best work for me. I start systems, but then sadly other people in the household add to the system, as in, start placing things IN the system that either A) they don’t know where else to go with it, or B) they think they have figured out my system and can do it, and C) they just put it there thinking I’ll deal with it.

    That’s why right now ‘my’ games are all over the place – because I can’t ask for help because I already know the people in my house don’t care about it in the same way that I do. They will like it once it’s done, but they can’t see the reason behind the process. I’ve got one person (husband) that just thinks you get rid of it all, another person (older daughter) that really does care but puts on airs that she doesn’t care, and another person (younger daughter) that would LOVE for them to be organized and nice, but she’s too much like me, and we’d end up squabbling with each other about it all. She’s also an ‘idea’ girl and LOVES to come up with ‘better’ ideas (read just different than mom).

    Hopefully we’ll both (you and me) be able to figure it out. I do know from past, present, and probably future experience that it’s NEVER a good idea to go out and buy organizing items with the intent that you’ll use them. Better to know HOW you’re going to organize them first 😉 LOL


    1. Jean Post author

      You are very right on the organizing bins! It is hard to develop a system that is yours alone if other people will be using it. And of course, change is always hard.

    1. Jean Post author

      Thank you. I do struggle quite a bit with the Murky Middle. I am (usually) something of a problem solver so it frustrates me when I can’t figure out what to do next on a project.

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