How to Finish Copy

Local author Jon Acuff’s book, Finish is a great place for you to start if you’re looking for advice on how to create your timeline and finish your project. Here are several ideas from Acuff’s book (which is 100% worth buying) that will help you complete this project or anything else you want to complete.

  1. Embracing imperfection
    If the goal is to finish, and it is, then perfection stands in the way of the iteration that needs to happen to complete your project. Consider a professional athlete. They’re the best in the world at their given sport. Now imagine that they quit their sport the moment they didn’t achieve perfection. There would be no athletes, go games, no races, nothing to watch. Perfection as a goal is noble, but on the path to finishing, perfection is an obstacle, not a path. Saying you’re a perfectionist sounds like you have high standards, but for most people perfection is an excuse for not taking action, not a reasonable goal. Replace the word perfection with excellence. Excellence is achievable and helpful.
  2. Halving your goals
    There’s an old adage that says “six of one or half a dozen of another”. It means whatever the two choices are, they’re ultimately the same. Halving your goals can help you achieve the same results. Here’s how. Let’s say your goal is to create four videos for your website. Change your goal to creating two videos. Execute on those two and then take what you learned and start on the next two after you celebrate the first two. Or, you can simply create two videos and see what results they bring. Perhaps you don’t need four videos and two get you the results you’re looking for.
    One of the problems you’ll experience if you make goals too large is that you’ll get halfway and then quit, then feel you’ve failed. Make them smaller. It will help you achieve them and finishing is the goal.

  3. Deliberately choosing what to drop
    Simple gets done. If your project has eight variables choose which ones are not vital and get rid of them. Your goal is to finish a version. Several years ago I sold an online program and included five books with the program. The books were talked about on the sales page, but every person who received the books said, “Thanks for sending those. I wasn’t expecting them.”
    So, while they were a nice addition, they weren’t a required part of the experience. Perhaps you make six contacts with your clients each year. Could you make four contacts, but make them more personal? Do you send generic birthday cards every year? Is that the best use of one of your touchpoints? This step is about removing unnecessary aspects of your project. Doing less gets done faster than doing more. You may have to drop something you thought was vital.
  4. Have fun!
    Don’t scoff at this one. When you make a task fun you’re much more likely to finish it. How can you make your project more enjoyable?Do you need to work on it in a different environment? Reward yourself with your favorite drink while you’re working? Play music while you’re working? Find ways to make the process more enjoyable and you’re much more likely to complete it.
  5. Using data to stay on-track
    We’ve all seen the thermometer that keeps track of the amount of money raised towards a goal. Crowdfunding sites also use this visual to help people see the progress on their goal. Whatever you’re working towards you should find ways to track your progress. It could be time spent on the project, words created, minutes of video recorded. Before you start work to identify what data you can use to stay on-track. Dividing your project into measurable sections will help you know what to complete each time you sit down to work on it.