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This Is the End - The Importance of Finishing Things and Avoiding Procrastination

Updated on April 8, 2015
Ice climbing in Germany, one step at a time.
Ice climbing in Germany, one step at a time.

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”
– Karen Lamb

Whether a project takes ten minutes or ten years, the most important thing in life is to finish things and to finds ways that work for you in avoiding procrastination.

Procrastination affects us all and is bound to worsen with the available distractions on varied and interconnected devices and media.

Amongst the information overload, advice should be short and creatively and stylishly presented (though if the latter elements are good enough, its length is not at issue).

As Mary Poppins says (quoting Aristotle) before she sings "A Spoonful of Sugar," "Well begun is half done," and while starting well is of absolute importance - and certain people when faced with a task will plan out every step and others will take a freer form approach - there is nothing more important and nothing more satisfying than finishing something.

This is not the end but the beginning, because this is my first HubPages post, having read many articles and blogs about the best way to go about it and, as procrastination is something I have read and know a lot about, it is a familiar and simple way to dip my toe in the water and to finish something.

There are tried and true methods to procrastination avoidance, and if we are fully committed - as part of striving to live and to write well - then nothing should stand in the way of a job well done. In becoming inspired, however, we can't dwell on it. Firstly, this is a good, short video about it:

In brief summary, the best methods to avoid procrastination are:

Take A Walk and Stay Hydrated (as fitness and energy help)

Implement Deadlines and Take Breaks Between Short Work Periods

Stop Work Mid-Sentence or Mid-task if Possible (to create an eagerness to resume)

Remove Distractions (including certain people)

Hard cardy as a reward.
Hard cardy as a reward.

Establish Rewards for Work Done and Involve Other Fun Activities

Involve Others in Ways That Will Give Momentum

Use Change of Location or Approach If It Will Help Stop Stagnation

Recognise How Completing Your Work Relates to Your Future Dreams and Endeavours
(even if the outcomes are purely financial)

Remember to Believe in Yourself

Students in a small village school in southern Laos.
Students in a small village school in southern Laos.

The key is always inspiration, inspiration, inspiration, so wherever this can be found - from people to a passion for ideas or for the future stability or interest in one’s career - each source of inspiration is going to help.

A passion for what one is doing is also a significant factor (but not always helpful for procrastination, as creative people are notorious as daydreamers), and doing the work, far more than thinking about doing it, is a two-fold reward: the act of working, when you get going, is pleasurable in itself, and the work improves your skills and familiarity with the task (not to mention while working you are fulfilling the job title that you are at other times thinking about doing).

Many people swear by a visualisation method - which often involves them standing with a trophy rather than standing above their work desk at the end of long hours of work - but the important thing is to see that the end is in sight, and not to rush an element or a broader part of the task because you are growing impatient.

Jobs are finished in their own time - they usually take longer than expected - and that is why it is important early on to think about how long the full enterprise is likely to take and to introduce measures that will encourage getting it done sooner (the people to involve or things to support you while working alone, from music to a pleasing work area to snacks and other rewards as appropriate).

There is no shortage of distractions, but it is worth remembering just how frivolous and unsatisfying most of these distractions are. Bearing in mind the use of time, the limited number of hours each day and week to work on what you would like to, you may find that your longer term goal is to channel your efforts in the direction of work most suited to your interests, because this is a sure-fire way to help reduce the amount of procrastination.

If you feel genuine disdain for the task that you are faced with doing, then not procrastinating may be something for which you are beyond help; but as Mary Poppins says (and Aristotle before her), start well, and find the sugar to make the medicine go down easier, or at least to make it less of a grind.

"Time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”
– Denis Waitley


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    • NonCopyBook profile image

      Nicholas Daly 3 years ago from NSW Australia

      Thanks, appreciate it.. What I'm learning is that creativity tends to be its own reward! Cheers, Nick

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      These are some great tips on starting and finishing things in life! Thank you for sharing your suggestions. One thing I am realizing more and more, is how quickly life is flying by. We can regret not finishing so many things perhaps, and why do that? Voted up and useful.

    • NonCopyBook profile image

      Nicholas Daly 3 years ago from NSW Australia

      Haha thanks very kind of you, yes I have found that to be true in offices and other gathering places for people. I wanted to make a point in my first hub about beginning, continuing and ending things (the other hubs since go into more detailed thoughts about life and arty things- I wanted to be more brief in this one, but cover the things that have been helpful for me..). Thanks again for your kind words, I'll get back to more of your hubs when I'm not away visiting family- Cheers..

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Great tips. I especially like "Remove Distractions (including certain people)." In office settings, it always seems like the procrastinators congregate and no one is productive. Voted up and more.

    • NonCopyBook profile image

      Nicholas Daly 3 years ago from NSW Australia

      Haha first comment. Thanks! See you've got a bit done on your hubpages, on thoughtful and worthwhile topics, so you've gotten quite good at not procrastinating... But reminders are always going to be useful.

    • PsychGeek profile image

      PsychGeek 3 years ago from UK

      I excel at procrastination, really I do and the more I do it the more it irritates me! There are some really good tips here for me to try to focus more, most useful. Thank you for sharing!