How to keep going when your project’s lost its sheen

by Steve Faulkner on 02 October 2018 | filed in Freelancing Leadership Procrastination Productivity Self Development Time Management

I’m very aware that I’ve always had issues with staying on track and focusing. This is why my notebooks and walls are covered with written plans and goals. People mistake this for evidence that I’m organised, when in fact it’s the complete opposite.

Because I have learned that we can learn and achieve anything, I sometimes find it a huge challenge to understand that anything doesn’t mean everything. Every day is a struggle to keep on track with the chaos of everything always threatening. The upshot is that trying to learn everything means learning nothing.

I meet a lot of people like this, entrepreneurs mostly, that at some point in their lives stumbled across the same secret - that nothing is impossible and that the cliché is true: your dreams can indeed become reality. The issue is that unless we make the decision to stay focused and push forward, even when the excitement of a new idea is replaced by the monotony of routine, our dreams will dissolve and get consigned to the constantly growing heap of unrealised potential - projects that could have been great, but just didn’t work out. We usually blame time, or worse, the people we love. But the truth is that it usually comes down to not working through the pain barrier of process and rejecting our once new ideas, just because they’ve lost their sheen a bit and become a bit tatty.

The key is to see all of the boring stuff as the prep: laying the groundwork, digging the holes for the flowers beds or sanding the wall for decorating. For many of us, it’s tedious and frustrating, so much so that it often becomes easier to go back to the chaos of pursuing absolutely everything, but that might also mean going back to the thing that was making us so unhappy in the first place. Instead of rushing through the prep, the digging and the sanding become so much easier if we approach them mindfully, take our time and accept it for what it is - the most important part. It’s this stage, followed by ongoing maintenance, that allows the flowers to bloom and the wall to shine.

I’ve spent the last few years avoiding some of this groundwork, but I’ve also found ways of staying on track and sticking with it. It’s not easy, but if I can do it, there isn’t a person on this planet who can’t do the same. Some (most) of us just need a few tools and strategies to help us along.

In future posts, I’ll share what works for me and what I’ve seen help so many others.

Don’t forget to subscribe for notifications of future posts and videos