How To Handle Projects That Will Never Be Done

by | Feb 24, 2021 | Entrepreneurship, Planning, Strategy

I don’t love algebra, but it has one major thing going for it: there is always one right answer. If you’re trying to solve an equation, you know exactly when it’s done. And once it’s done, it stays done.

Most of our entrepreneurial projects are nothing like this. Writing a book, building a program, creating a training – they’re all potentially boundless. We could keep tweaking our biggest projects for years and still find room for improvement.

Entrepreneurship is a complex reality. We don’t have bosses setting deadlines for us or telling us it’s ‘good enough’. We could leave loops open in our businesses for years without anything coming in from outside to close them. In some situations, this is totally fine. But for many of us, those unfinished projects that we haven’t published because they’re “not ready yet” can land in a graveyard in the backs of our minds. Our best ideas may never see the light of day.

So how do we live in a world without endpoints?

How do we press ‘publish’ on our best work when we know there are things we could change?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the process of revising my book. I want to keep working on it for several more months, but on March 5th, my publisher will permanently close the door to new revisions. Whatever is in the book on March 5th will stay there for years to come. I hate it.

But I also need that date. March 5th is my finish line – the thing making sure I publish in April. It’s also the reason I’ll be able to take a breather and work on something else for a change.

I want to start using that same principle for my other projects, too. I may not have a boss, but I can pretend I do. I can set deadlines I’m not allowed to move. I can remember that perfection isn’t real and that no finish lines will appear on their own. I can send something out the door, take a deep breath, and start the next thing.

How about you? Do you have a project that isn’t done yet? What would it look like to create your own finish line rather than waiting to feel ready?

p.s. Our next group client training call is next Tuesday at 10:00 MT. We’ll talk about how to respond to overwhelm. If you haven’t joined us for one of these calls yet, let me know and I’ll invite you to join as my guest!