We want to again welcome guest author Alex Fayle, the writer and professional organizer behind the helpful anti-procrastination website Someday Syndrome. This is his third post of three in a series on fighting procrastination.
We’ve vanquished the Getting Started Monster, conquered the No Momentum Monster and now all that’s left is to finish up. You’ve uncluttered your space and managed to keep at it until everything is nicely streamlined. You’ve even put things back where they belong.
Well, almost everything. You have a few things that don’t fit in your current storage spaces, so you’ve left them on top of your desk while you figure out what type of storage you need for them exactly.
And then months pass with them still on your desk. A few bits and bobs not done don’t really matter you tell yourself every time you see the pile of things waiting to be given a home.
But it does matter because from that pile of things not put away the clutter starts to grow again, creeping out from that spot to take over the office again.
When we don’t finish projects we leave the door open to chaos. We let the Never Finishing Monster into our lives and everything around the place needs just a few adjustments to finish, but nothing’s totally completed. The baseboard is missing on the living room trim. The bedroom needs curtains. The email inbox still has a few dozen messages from two months ago waiting to be looked at.
Why don’t we totally finish? Because often we leave the fiddly bits to the end, the stuff that we’re not quite sure what to do with, or the stuff that we hate doing.
Fortunately, unlike getting started and moving forward, there is a trick to kill the Never Finishing Monster — it’s called the Get It Done Sprint.
I use this all the time with my writing. I’ll start a project and move it forward slowly and steadily but as I get closer to the end of something I slow down to a crawl that wouldn’t win a race against 80 year old snails.
When I notice that I’ve reached this point, I schedule a block of time (for my writing projects a week is usually a good amount of time) where I dedicate several hours a day getting the project done. The Never Finishing Monster doesn’t stand a chance against such dedicated effort.
It’s like the end of a 10km race — you pace yourself throughout the race until the finish line comes into sight and you sprint to the end.
Apply this same thinking to your organizing projects. When you almost reach the end, change your approach to the project and commit to getting it done within a very specific (and very short) timeframe. Schedule a day to go buy the supplies you need and enlist (or hire) help to put in that extra bit of effort to wrap up the project.
And don’t delay. Schedule the sprint as soon as possible. The longer you leave the project unfinished, the less likely you’ll get around to it and the more likely all your hard work will undo itself.
So tell me, what’s left to get finished in your house and when will you schedule the Get It Done Sprint that will squash the Never Finishing Monster flat?