3 Reasons Why We Don’t Finish Things

It’s true: I almost didn’t finish my new music album.

Between my personal, creative and corporate lives, I have seen incompletion patterns amongst my peers and within myself. Based on the experiences, I believe the 3 major reasons why we don’t finish things are:

1. A lack of painful consequences (or allowing “acceptable” consequences to take place);
2. A lack of accountability to other people (or to oneself);
3. Focusing on perfection or a similarly unachievable goal.

To crush these blockers, I recommend playing a game: The Intentional Interference Game. The only rule is to intentionally / purposefully interfere with your established work patterns. I played the I.I. Game and won shortly after gameplay began.

First, I gave myself a painful consequence: I booked a date for mastering my record. If I missed the date, I would likely hurt my relationship with the studio and lose money. I foresaw pain!

Second, I created some accountability with some of my peers by promising them a copy of the album, also by a certain date. I knew if I didn’t come through with these particular peers, they would be asking me about it and I didn’t want to sheepishly say that I was “still working on it.” I felt accountability!

Third, I drew a line at 97% “perfection” for my album. Of course, I believe that a line can be drawn at any point for any project. This particular line meant that I had to make a few artistic compromises, but it allowed me to move forward. I forewent perfection!

I became motivated to finish what I had been working on. The 3 reasons for not finishing things and my game to combat them I hope are straightforward. Perhaps you can try playing the I.I. Game to leap incompletion hurdles in your own world?

dyniss the second fistful album cover 400 px

This album wasn’t getting finished until I played the Intentional Interference Game.

  • Tc Castelli at 9:53 am

    I play the game too. Never thought I was doing it. However, yes there are times I need to play it more – within every new thought process, it could stand behind me. Good for you! I see things kicked into hard drive all of a sudden for you, and if this is the method you used, I say AMEN. It is great for any situation.