One of the worst flaws in judgment I've identified in myself --
A lot of times, after a big completion push on a project, things seem under control. Maybe I've been working nonstop 12-13 hours, and there's only an hour or two left of work to do, but I'm fading.
So, I call it a day and go to sleep, or whatever. Maybe that's the right call, and maybe it's not...
...but I've seen far too often, the project doesn't get finished in the next 2 to 8 weeks.
It really should get done right away, or at the start of the next day at the latest.
Reschedule meetings if you have to.
But get it done.
If you're 90%+ on something, you really need to go into Terminator Mode on it and get it done. All of the most effective people I know do that.
If you have a wide variety of projects, it can be tempting to say "Well, that's one under control -- it only takes an hour or two to get it done now" and move on to something else.
Don't do that.
An hour or two of polish and delivery while you've got the entire problemspace loaded in your head becomes 3-5 hours after you've forgotten it, and it becomes 20-30 hours if you get a key personnel change or request for changed scope in a collaborator or client.
It means you don't get the joyful feeling of completion and momentum.
If it was a paid project, it pushes back getting paid, keeps your accounts receivable worse, and screws up your cashflow.
Oftentimes, clients or buyers will want a review and cooling off period after a job and before the next one, so it pushes back the date you can get followup work.
...it's just a damn bad thing.
Once you get over, say, 85%, it's time to push. Even if other things seem urgent, even if it seems like there's not much more to do, even if there's a million excuses or good reasons not to finish.
Finish. Push. Finish.
When you're close, finish. Terminator Mode.
Great post. This is also true for entire projects on longer time frames
In the past I've often given up or lost my motivation right before the end of the project when most of the work is already done but the rewards haven't started coming in. Now I realize that this is the time to work especially hard and complete the project no matter what happens.
Finish. Push. Finish.
"Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here." -- Inscription on the Gates of Hell, Dante Alighieri's "Inferno"
The worthy detour? I think I've got a formula for "High Creative Mode"... just it's not particularly consistently effective yet, and it's playing a pretty high stakes game. On Day Seventeen, I made my first crack at applying it, and had an incredible day. I wrote a 5000-word piece, that after editing and getting the ending right, I think could be amazingly fantastic. Just writing it was a joy.
Following from that, I was walking on air for the rest of the day.
In Day Eighteen, I attempted the same thing, and fell short. This was maddening, and the whole day was aggravating. I think I've got a rough formula for High Creative Mode, but it doesn't produce 100% results. And when it fails, it's pretty ugly, at least so far.
I kept detailed notes on both days, much more fleshed out than usual. There's more stream-of-consciousness. They're... honestly, a little weird. You can evaluate for yourself:
I have a big project I'm working on (secret for now, haven't decided if I should write about it yet or not), and I've been seriously procrastinating.
It's not that I don't want to do it. It's something I arrived at myself, is very inline with my Life Nomadic goals, and will be very exciting to complete. It's my perfect project.
I'd been working on it for a week, though, and had been getting very little work done. To use a rough estimate, I had done maybe 5% of the work in a week. Twenty weeks until completion is way too long.