The project plateau is something that we all face when working on large projects (a term coined by Scott Belsky). It’s the period within every project when everything seems to become boring, tedious, and uninspiring. What happens with most of us is that our instincts kick in and we jump to a new idea (something that takes us away from the boring project we were working on). The new idea gets us excited again but it’s only short lived because once we get going on that “new” project, we fall back into the project plateau. It’s inevitable, all projects involves the project plateau.
Overcoming the project plateau is easier said than done, but it simply starts with being aware. When you’re working on an important project, catch yourself as you drift onto new ideas. Force yourself to get back into working on the project at hand. It’s hard but the payoff is huge once you actually complete that project. I’ve been through this on a yearlong project and the payoff is amazing and liberating once you finally reach completion.
The thing is this, if you allow yourself to drift onto new ideas each week, each month, without actually finishing your main project, you’ll never accomplish anything. You’ll become subconsciously trapped in a death cycle of new exciting ideas but never really following through on any of them. Here’s the kicker that got me to change my thinking – we all have a friend that’s always up to something new, but when you look back over the past 5 years, this person never really accomplished anything. I have a few of those – and that’s when I decided I don’t want to be that person.
Just be aware of the project plateau. Don’t start a new project; just finish the one you’re work on.
Source: Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky