You already know that successfully completing a project is not automatic. However, you may believe—as many people do—that the successful completion of a creative project is a mysterious process. I’m here to share with you the five things you must do to successfully complete a project.
- Synchronize and balance. Your dreams, plans, and actions must be not only in balance with each other; they must be synchronized as well. You will not succeed if your plans do not align with your dreams. Similarly, if your actions don’t align with your plans, you will not succeed. Ensure all three of these are in line and proportionate to each other, and your success is virtually guaranteed.
- Know what you want. It sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s incredible how many people are unclear on this. Our dreams will only become reality if they are clear.
- Maintain Consistent Focus. Getting distracted or losing momentum during any creative project is easy. Establish a routine and create a dedicated workspace free from distractions to stay on track. Set aside specific blocks of time for your project and commit to them. Minimize interruptions and prioritize your project during these dedicated periods. Early mornings before anyone else is up works best for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s best for you.
- Create a Realistic Timeline. Break your project into smaller, manageable tasks and create a timeline or schedule. Set deadlines for each task and allocate the necessary time and resources. Be realistic about your time constraints and avoid overcommitting yourself. A well-planned timeline will help you stay organized and ensure steady progress. If your timeline is “whenever you can,” that may seem on the surface to be a little less stressful, but it also may lead you to get off your timeline altogether.
- Seek constructive feedback. If you are a writer, for example, that feedback could be in the form of beta readers or from an editor. Regardless of the kind of project you’re doing, it’s always good to get others’ opinions. A significant aspect of creating a successful project is weighing any feedback you get, then deciding whether to implement that in your project. I have seen people do both to their detriment: either rejecting feedback outright or accepting every piece of feedback they receive. Both of these extremes commonly lead to failure. I believe the key is to remember that feedback is about your work, not your worth. It’s important to detach yourself emotionally and view feedback as a valuable tool for improvement.