Over the weekend I was feeling grumpy so I put my must-do tasks aside to scrapbook for just a bit. I needed it.
The plan was to create a colorful stamped background to nudge out my crabbiness and then return to my list. Instead, I kept going.
I had discovered that sweet spot of timing and desire that makes it hard to do anything but finish.
This doesn’t happen every day for me and I bet it doesn’t for you either. But wouldn’t it be swell if it did?
To understand how to finish more often, we must tease apart why.
But first, I want to remind you to be gentle and kind with yourself. Create a safe space for honest reflection and acceptance without self-judgement. It doesn’t matter how you got here; what matters is where you go next.
4 Reasons Why Your Project is Unfinished
When you understand what factors contributed to not finishing, you can work at avoiding those obstacles in the future. A knowledge of why will arm you with the exact tools you need to forge a new and better path.
1. You have shiny object syndrome.
As women with creative interests, not to mention many responsibilities, it can be so hard to stay focused. Whether by new ideas, new projects, or simply a new episode of a favorite podcast, distraction is the fastest way to get off track. While you have so many good intentions, it can be hard to resist the lure of the next new thing.
What to do next: “Gamify” your experience, challenging yourself to focus for periods of time or to finish something before you’re allowed to do something else. Then, document your victories so you have a visual record of finishing.
2. You made the project too complicated.
The excitement of new supplies or new ideas can also lead to making a project more complicated that it needs to be. I can feel frustrating when there’s too much effort needed for each step or you’re trying too many new things at once. Your great idea can start to feel like a big mistake.
What to do next: There’s almost always a simpler solution that’s just as satisfying and meaningful, even as a course correction on an existing project. And when you select projects in the future, remember to take a moment to ask if your intended approach could be simplified.
3. You are battling perfectionism.
There’s little worse in scrapbooking than feeling paralyzed by indecision. You want to make all the right choices and take all the right steps, but this quest for perfection can seriously stall your progress. Then, projects can continually get pushed aside in waiting for that perfect time when you feel creative and skillful.
What to do next: To combat negative internal monologues, focus on creating within your wheelhouse. Use techniques and approaches you’ve used before and feel confident applying again. Build your confidence with successes before you try something new.
4. You lost the project’s joy connection.
Sometimes a project just doesn’t feel fun anymore, perhaps because one of the previous three reasons set you back. When you lose motivation for a project, what that really means is other circumstances have blocked your connection to the joy. Whatever meaning and deeper satisfaction underpins your process, this connection is what fuels creation.
What to do next: Spend a few minutes journaling about why you started this project or even simply a few minutes sharing that reason with someone else. Working through your thoughts and feelings by putting them into words is a fast track to clarity of purpose.
In the comments below, consider this a safe space and share a likely reason behind one of your unfinished projects.