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Discussion on: How do you finish your projects?

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indoor_keith profile image
Keith Charles

I think most of us has this problem to some extent. When it's our own projects, we have no accountability and no one but ourselves to tell us to stay on track. I have a sort of checklist that I go by in order to stay on track with my projects.

Be the User

Whatever the project is, make sure it's for something you'd actually use and benefit from. If the project is just another note taking app or quiz app, chances are you aren't going to care if you end up scrapping it halfway through. I could start a graveyard with all the unfinished quiz apps I've never finished 😬. Pick something that you can't wait to finish and start using yourself.

Break Down the Tasks

Create a trello account. Use Github Projects. Heck, get some sticky notes and a whiteboard if you want to get old school with it. Using some form of project management, even if you're the only person going to work on it, has multiple benefits:

  • breaking down your tasks make accomplishing a single task much easier and is good for morale
  • having a history of accomplishments is great to look back on while your in the middle of it all. Shows you're progressing, another morale booster
  • prevents feature creep. figure out the features you want right now and document them. these are the tasks that need to get done, anything you come up with afterwards is a 2.x feature and is none of your concern at this point.

Talk About What It Does, Not What It WILL Do

A lot of the time we like to talk about all the stuff we're going to add to our app idea to our friends, and while it's good to think about all the cool bells and whistles we plan on donning on our brain child, we end up digging our own motivational grave. By talking about what we WILL do, we're setting expectations on ourselves and creating witnesses at the same time. When we end up not being able to add that feature, it can be demoralizing because now you have to either explain the app won't have that feature to your friends or just completely separate yourself from the friendship altogether! (but most likely the former πŸ˜‰)

Talk about what you've already got working on your app instead! You just finished a really cool feature of the app that you're proud of? Go out there and gloat about it! This keeps your interest on the app at the front of your mind without pigeonholing you to uncertainties. This also adds buzz about your project and your friends may even become invested and hold you accountable to your work (that's a good thing)

Get Public About It

Don't just talk to your friends, let us in the community know what you're getting done, too! We're all trying to work through all of our collective procrastinations. If we see our peers getting through it, it can help us push through, as well. This motivation can be cyclical and come right back to you.

Understand that there is no such thing as FINSHED

In this day an age, we don't finish anything. Tech is always evolving and mutating. Your goal is to get to production not to the colloquial finish line. Get the MVP done first. Rave about your accomplishment. Then get your 1.x done. Rave about your accomplishment. Go on a mini vacation. Then think about what 2.x will look like. Wash Rinse, and repeat.


Well this ended up being more of a whole dang post rather than a response. I may turn this into a post myself, but I still wanted to make sure I got these points over to you. The last point I say is the most important one of them all. We need to redefine what "finished" means to us to be more relative to our industry. I hope any of this helps! I understand this stuff is way easier said than done, but I'm an aaaawful procrastinator, and if I can finish projects, I KNOW anyone can.

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jackspy143 profile image
jackspy143

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jmfayard profile image
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sararf22 profile image
SaraRF22

Great explanation! I think for a newbie like myself, it's overwhelming, but as I'm are not given up I'll get there

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temiloluwaade profile image
Temiloluwa Adelowo

This response is golden and would go a long way in helping me. Thanks a lot for this response

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isarisariver profile image
Marian

This is such a great response, thanks for taking the time to write it all down.

I agree that "scratching your own itch" will make you keep working on a project like nothing else. Even if nobody wants to use it in the end, it doesn't matter. At least you got a great product that is tailored perfectly to your needs. πŸ˜‰

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indoor_keith profile image
Keith Charles

Definitely, and realistically, whatever it is that you make for yourself, others are bound to find useful as well! If it helps you, it's highly unlikely it won't help anyone else.