Finish things more

Feeling burned out on a project that’s been going on for weeks/months?

When I was a kid, my dad told me some advice about creativity that I’ll never forget:

“Finishing things gives you energy—and not finishing things takes your energy away.”

For me, often the hardest part of a long project isn’t the technical challenge—it’s maintaining my enthusiasm.

Rest is essential, but taking a break doesn’t give you more enthusiasm for a project—completing something does.

I find a good way to give myself more energy in the midst of a long-running project is to find something small and finish it.

This could mean, in the midst of a long project at work, starting my day by taking an hour to fix a bug that’s been bothering me and my team—simple and satisfying.

My coworkers who work on open-source projects (Matthew Griffith and @rhg_dev) seem to use a similar technique.

They’ll switch from work on a large project to building a small game, library, or experiment, rotating between projects to stay active and engaged.

This post was originally a Twitter thread as part of Ship 30 for 30.