3 Pro Tips for Completing Creative Projects

I distinctly remember a few late nights from high school. Most involved Mountain Dew and Call of Duty but some were less desirable.

I have always been a ‘good’ student. I made good grades and what not. But even I was not immune to the law of procrastination that clouds over the school science fair project. This forced me to stay up late trying to complete my project.

Luckily my parents were always there to help me finish up the project at the final hour. But why did this always seem to happen?

Do you find yourself dragging projects out forever and never completing them?

Do you find yourself trying to complete a project at the last minute because it has slipped your mind?

Today I want to share three secrets I have learned about completing creative projects fast and on time.


3 Pro Tips for Completing Creative Projects

Determine Your ‘Why’

What is a ‘Why‘?

Your ‘why’ is the reason you want to complete the project. It’s what motivated you to start and what will push you to complete the project.

Examples:

  • I want a source of passive income.

  • I want to show my spouse that I love them in a new way.

  • I want to make it easier to find a tool.

The Importance of a ‘Why‘

There may come a time that you do not want to work on the next task in the project. There may come a time when that next episode on Netflix is very enticing.

Your ‘why‘ is your internal personal accountability partner that will encourage you to press on, stay focused, and complete the project.

You should remind yourself of your ‘why’ as often as possible.

How to Determine Your ‘Why‘

Ask yourself questions like:

  • How will I grow through the completion of this project?

  • What excites me about this project?

  • How will the outcome make a difference in my life and others?

Develop a Written Plan

What is a Written Plan?

At it’s core, a written plan is the goal you want to achieve, the small steps you need to take to finish the project, and a schedule to complete each of those small steps.

The Importance of a Written Plan

Consider a project like writing a book. That is a BIG undertaking that cannot be completed in a single day. But breaking the book into smaller tasks and doing one task a week can help you complete the book.

Without a plan you may stay so focused on getting everything perfect. With a plan you know you need to move on to stay on schedule. Done is better than perfect.

A written plan helps you know what to do next, when you are behind schedule, and when you can celebrate completing a smaller goal like finishing a chapter in a book.

How to Create a Written Plan?

Write down your goal or project. Then write out each step you need to take to achieve the goal.

For the example of the book, a task list might look like:

  • Outline the structure of the book

  • Draft a chapter a week until complete

  • Send the draft to editor

  • Reach out to publisher

  • etc.

Once you have a task list, put the tasks in order and give each task a target completion date.

I’m using Trello right now for all my projects.

Find Accountability

What is Accountability?

When I think of accountability, I think of someone else checking in periodically to see how things are going. You see this type of relationship in small groups in a church or within a business where a manager makes sure everyone on the team does their part.

The Importance of Accountability

I have found that if I commit to something on my own, I often get busy, forget about the goal, and then brush it off. But if I share my commitment with others and I know they are going to ask me about it, I am motivated to stay focused on the task and do what I said I would do.

An accountability partner reminds you to pursue your goal and encourages you to push through the hard stuff.

How to Find Accountability?

Try this quick and simple form of accountability: share your goal on social media with a deadline. I did this on Facebook when I was working on my online Acoustic Guitar 101 course.

A better form of accountability would be a friend with similar interests. Maybe they are working on their own project and could use accountability as well. Set up a check-in meeting once a week to discuss what you have achieved and where you each are struggling.


In the case of my science fair project my ‘Why’ was a good grade, but I lacked a plan and accountability.

I wish I new these disciplines back then, but it’s the journey along the way that helps me appreciate them.

If you need help determining your ‘why’, developing a project plan, or finding accountability, I’d love to here from you!


3 Pro Tips for Completing Creative Projects

  1. Determine Your ‘Why’

  2. Develop a Written Plan

  3. Find Accountability