Do You Have Too Many Half-Finished Projects? Here is What You Can Do

Do you have experience starting several different projects and after some time to conclude that you can’t finish them? Do you have many half-finished projects?

Probably, you have such experience.

Stop for the moment and take a piece of paper to write!

Write a column with a title like “current projects” and list all your current projects which you are working on now.

Make another column titled as “half-finished projects“, and write all unfinished projects that are in temporarily standby mode.

Next, continue with a third column titled “future/ideas” where you will list projects that you plan to start later.

Now, make a simple math. For how many projects you are responsible?

What to do next with half-finished projects?

But, the sad truth is that your half-finished projects are something in which you have already invested so much time, money, and other resources. Are they something that you need to give up?

  • You start with a raw idea.
  • You are so excited about the new idea and started working on it.
  • Then, you transform your idea into the project.
  • Then, you start through action steps defined in your project.
  • You work really hard to start and walk through the steps.
  • Then, for some reason, you lose your excitement.
  • Now, you don’t know what to do next.

Why you don’t know what to do next?

Because, you probably have started another project, then another, then another… Because you have much higher expectations, then they need to have, you lose your most important energy that was the key driver to work on that specific project.

I have experienced such situations very often. And I can only say that it is so stressful and exhausting. If this didn’t happen to you than you are a very lucky person.

Let’s start with the first question: what to do next with these half-finished projects. Then, what you can differently do that will enable you to avoid such a situation.

What You Can Do Next With Unfinished Projects?

I know, that you already work on something different, but let’s try to save what can be saved.

Here, I want to present one possible solution or something that I call it “save what you can save.”

1. How much time you can spend analyzing the potential of unfinished projects

First, decide about the time that you can spend in analyzing the potential of your half-finished projects. You need to spend some time working not on finishing projects, but to work on deciding what you will finish, what will stay on your standby list and what can be totally removed from the list.

2. Analyze your half-finished projects

Second, start with the analysis of half-finished projects. You need to rank them. The key criteria can be the return on investments of the project, time that you need to complete it, and resources that you will need to use for that.

3. Prioritize the projects

Now when you have your list, you can prioritize the projects. The prioritizing can be made by the following rules: the projects with the larger return of investments, the shortest time required to be accomplished, and with the minimal required resources to be allocated will have the highest priority to start working on. The second group of projects can be one that will stay on your standby list, and the last group of projects that you can simply forget will be all that have the low return on investment, a big amount of time to be finished, and will need a large number of your business resources.

4. Start Working

When you have your clean priority list of half-finished projects, you can start working on the first one. Now, simply start working on the first project on your priority list.

How You Can Avoid Situations With a Large Amount of Half-Finished Projects?

Now, I explained a possible process of how to start doing something with your half-finished projects as a reactive approach. But, what we need is a proactive approach. Something that will not put us in such situations where we try to save what we can save.

Let’s continue with some proactive tactics that will give you the possibility to escape becoming a part of such a situation.

1. Start using a business ideas book.

Business ideas book is the place where you collect each of your business ideas. But, it is where ideas stay without judgment. The idea can be translated into the possible project only when you evaluate it, and you are sure that the idea is worth to be implemented. Business ideas book is the place where will be all your raw ideas.

2. Implement a system for evaluating your ideas.

You need a strong system for the evaluation of your ideas. If you don’t have such a system in place, you will come in the position to have business ideas book with too many ideas that will simply stay in the book without any future actions to take about them. In such a situation, you will simply ignore your business ideas book. With the system in place, you will have one day in your week when you will evaluate your ideas, and as a minimum, you will schedule some basic next actions about each of the ideas, or simply you will delete some of them without the need of future actions.

3. Prioritize your ideas.

Based on the evaluation of each of your ideas, you can prioritize them which will show you what can be implemented as a first, and what can continue to stay on the standby list.

4. If you can’t finish something alone, start delegating.

When you finish your active project, you can simply start with the first of the ideas on your list as a new project. If you think that you can’t finish something alone, start delegating some of the activities to your business members.

5. Don’t start another project without finishing one already started.

One important rule that you need to use is not starting with another project until you don’t finish one already started. So, all your projects will be finished if they are already started. But, in some exceptional situation, you can decide to stop working on some of your current projects which will be a result of the wrong expectations. If you discard some of your projects discard them at all, without using your standby list. Simply forget about them and start with the next one.

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan