Sometimes when you’re a ‘starter’ (or as negative people like to call it, a ‘quitter’) you end up with a long list of unfinished projects. Now everyone has a list of unfinished stuff, but starters probably have more than most others.
I myself have a folder with about 5 business plans… Did I tell you about my dessert delivery business? Have you heard of Belfast Badges? Did you know I have all the costings and groundwork done for a Steampunk Cafe and Co-Working space in Holywood? I have about 7 coding projects in various stages of completion. Some of them have a first draft already in the app store. Two half-finished canvases sit in my living room, waiting for me to get on with them. I have a short screenplay fully planned and written, two novels underway, and numerous vignettes of short stories. We won’t talk about the multiple housework and DIY jobs I’ve started. And there is literally years worth of stuff I’ve eventually forgotten about that I was supposed to have done at the time.
I talked a lot in the last post about how I learned to hate myself for never finishing things. And I know other people who feel constantly like life is on top of them, their To-Do list is never finished, and they never feel free.
Well let me tell you now that there’s truth in the old phrase “A [wo]man’s work is never done”. Trust me when I say There Will Be No End To Housework. Ever. There will always be one more job. There will be no end to your To-Do list. Ever. Because as humans we are great at coming up with more ideas of things that could be cleaned and improved and achieved. Your natural resourcefullness and curiosity is constantly adding items to your To-Do list. The natural complexity of finance systems, interpersonal relationships and entropy conspire to add some more of their own. It’s time to admit that there will be no end to the list, and that a logical next step is to STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP FOR NOT COMPLETING IT.
Instead, let us focus on the idea that we will always have a wide and varied range of things to do at any given time. That any one of those things you started could be picked up, new enthusiasm kindled, and a little bit of progress made. Hey, how about you show that thing to someone and have a chat about how it might work? Why don’t you use that other thing as a way to get some alone-time while you work on something? What if that one and this other one could combine and you could get the kids involved? Maybe that stuff that fell through before would be great now that you know Bob, who would love to help with that bit you aren’t so good at?
Cheer up and get on with the glorious, beautiful list, and stop worrying about the bits you haven’t finished!
Say it with me now: “I love all my unfinished projects. They represent a world of possibilities.”
See also: The Art of Quitting #1: You are not lazy