How To Finally Finish That One Project–You Know The One

You can stop feeling guilty that you never finished your big-picture passion project with this formula for success.

How To Finally Finish That One Project–You Know The One
[Photo: Flickr user malouette]

Big projects have a way of hiding behind the daily nagging of life. You might begin a project with excitement and fast progress, but as more immediate tasks demand attention, it gets buried.


Robin Sharma, leadership consultant and author, calls this the “90-90-1 Rule.” It goes like this:

For the next 90 days, devote the first 90 minutes of your work day to the one best opportunity in your life. Nothing else. Zero distractions. Just get that project done. Period.

That sounds nice, but we don’t live in an ideal world. Things get in the way. Here’s how to work on finding your own rules for finishing a passion project.

Be Ruthlessly Committed

Employing the 90-90-1 Rule means saying no to all of the things that vie for your most precious hours. But it’s uncomfortable, initially, to deny all of the pinging, alert-pushing, “urgent” marked messages that hit us first thing in the morning.

Be a little selfish with your time, whether it means getting up 90 minutes earlier in the morning or spending 90 in the evening quiet. If you don’t look out for your own passion projects’ health and progress, no one else will.

Visualize It

No, not in a “vision board” type of way. Visualizing information is proven to make a message faster to absorb than text, and easier to remember.


Putting your passion projects in front of your own face every day keeps them from slipping into the daily grind. If you’re working on saving enough for a dream vacation–and resisting buying lunch out every day–tape a beach photo to your cubicle wall.

If you’re having trouble staying on task, type and print your on a scrap of paper, and frame it for your desk. It’s the reverse of the old adage, “out of sight, out of mind.”

Prioritize It . . . Seriously

You may feel like your book-in-progress, coding class, or painting project is important. It’s close to your heart, you’d be sad if it disappeared from your life, so naturally, it must mean a lot.

But if drafts are gathering dust while daily life pushes it further out of touch, it’s time for some tough love. “I don’t have time to finish my website,” becomes, “Creating my own website isn’t a priority.”

If that doesn’t settle well with you, adjust the priority you give your projects.

[h/t: 99u]


About the author

Freelance tech, science and culture writer. Find Sam on the Internet: @samleecole.