Got a project you are aching to complete? Here are 7 ways you can speed your way to the finish.
Some projects start out easy but somewhere in the middle they get bogged down. Soon you are slogging away with a weekend ahead, wondering how you will ever get done. Of course you don't want to rush through and get sloppy. You need some sort of method or energy boost to finish fast without sacrificing the quality of the work.
Getting stuck is normal. No need to let obstacles and complexity discourage you. Here are 7 ways to break through the muck and get to the finish line with a result that makes you proud.
1. Set micro goals.
Take the project and divide it into smaller parts. Create a quality check-list for each goal so you don't miss a beat. Then set clear time-frames and race the clock.
2. Eliminate distractions.
Isolate yourself from non-essential people and electronics. Crank up the music and power through in long focused time periods. Set them at 90 minutes and don't take a break in between.
3. Call in the troops.
Sometimes you just can't do it alone. There is little glory in a solo failure, so swallow that pride and ask for some help. Sure you might have to return the favour some day, but that's what friends and colleagues are for. It also helps to bring in someone who hasn't been staring at the project for weeks. They may have ideas on how to complete the project better and faster.
4. Keep moving past the flaws.
Slowing down every time you hit a small snag can add a lot of extra time to the project. Move through initially as best you can marking problem spots as you go. Better to come back and clean up small messes at the end. That way you can keep the rhythm going. Of course, if a big crucial problem hits, solve it now so it doesn't send you way off course.
5. Get rid of your judgment.
Second guessing yourself at every step can cause anxiety and delays. Self-judgment is crippling when trying to problem solve. Try stream-of-consciousness writing or brainstorming to loosen stuck gears. Express all your ideas and solutions judgment free. Then go back and decide what actions really help the project.
6. Pause and review.
If you keep pushing forward and feel like you are spinning wheels, maybe you are straying unnecessarily. Take a break and get some distance. Then go back and review the work done so far from the very beginning. Revisiting already-made progress can help remind you of what your intentions were in the beginning. Did you make a plan before you started? Read it.
7. Keep your eye on the prize.
When my brain has already left for the weekend it's hard to keep focus. I can find lots of procrastination techniques to keep me from reaching the finish line. That's when I take a few minutes to visualize what it means to be finished with the project. Then I go push hard to power through and get it done.