A few months ago, I started a huge project with a client. The experience nicely coincided with my blogging about finishing what I start, so a lot of what I’ve been learning is feeding the project and vice versa.
From October through the middle of December I wrote furiously to create my part of the project. And then, in the middle of December, we hit the hard part. The project will be complete in mid January but for now, we’re in that part that I’ve been writing about — the point in which the baton is passed from start to finish, when the easy starting stuff is being replaced by the hard finishing stuff.
It’s actually the reason why I haven’t been blogging as regularly for the past couple of weeks: Because my client’s project went from being filled with fun starting activities to being filled with arduous push-through-the-middle-toward-the-finish activities. I’m NOT complaining. It’s been great for me to apply the skills I’ve been writing about.
Last week, in fact, was the most difficult of the project yet. I worked LONG hours doing very detailed work that was not always fun. There were many times when my frustration level rose and I wished I was done. There were even a few times when I almost quit. But what kept me in the game was my desire to see the project through to success.
And I’m glad I did. The project isn’t done yet but the hardest part is. There will still be challenges but the hardest part is over and things will get easier as they move forward.
Here are some tips that I learned while working through this hardest part of the project:
- When the project moves from fun/easy/starting toward the finish, it becomes very detailed. The details suddenly matter. The details can kill the project or make it successful.
- There is a light at the end of the tunnel even though it doesn’t always feel like it.
- Take the time to be patient and exacting. It’s worth it. If you don’t take the time, you’ll have to do it over again.
- Don’t go through it alone. If at all possible, find allies who can help you.
- Laugh a little.
- The longer this tough part lasts, the more willpower is needed to even just get out of bed. So make sure that you’re prepared.
- This part of the project requires sacrifice. Your perception of the end result (when the project is finished) will determine whether you’re willing to pay the sacrifice right now.
- Chances are, your life isn’t entirely made up of this project. Somehow you have to find time to think about all the other things.
Friday and Saturday were the worst. By yesterday (Sunday) I was absolutely exhausted, feeling sick, and decidedly UNfestive. But I kept pushing because by Sunday at 1PM I had completed everything I needed to do for this part of the project… at least for now. I can put this massive project on hold over the holiday season and pick it up again in January, rested and ready to push more.