Finishing Work

Day 134 Week 20 Q2 Monday, May 15, 2023

Finishing Work

Finishing work is the concluding stage of construction, where overall quality depends on its execution. The phrase is usually used concerning building projects, but I think it applies to many types of things creative outliers engage in.

The last 10% of a creative project, such as music composition, book writing, or software development, the three areas I have the most experience in, is the most challenging. It involves refining details, perfecting the user experience, fixing bugs, and adding final features. These tasks are unpredictable and become apparent as the project progresses. The creative process requires experimentation and discovery. Fear of judgment and the pressure to create something wonderful can hinder completion. Agile and Lean methodologies borrowed from eh software world can help manage creative work, but effective management and leadership are still essential. Attention to detail, progress tracking, and motivation are crucial. Finishing a challenging task leaves a lasting impact, requiring focus and dedication. The end result is valuable, representing the dedication of the individual or team involved.

I know this amalgam of management speak and creative speak may seem off-putting to artists. Still, those who are experienced in routinely delivering results know that success is part inspiration and part completion. It can take an instant to imagine a completed result and a sentence to articulate it, and an hour to diagram the complete arc of a project or program in broad strokes. It can then take a decade or longer to fully manifest any considerable portion of the original thought and its ramifications. Somewhere between the instant and the decade, there must be some sweet spot that I have so far been unable to locate because every project is different, and you, too, are different for each project. We are all time-varying creatures, hopefully growing from our experiences.  

It is so exciting to begin a new project and so satisfying to complete an old one. And these two states are connected by Finishing Work, which may not be so exciting or satisfying while you are engaged in it. But there is no choice, so you may as well allocate some significant time to performing Finishing Work, or frustration will be your constant companion.

This is especially true for those of us who are addicted to the steep onset of new learning curves, where dreams multiply faster than realities. Perhaps if you can habituate Finishing Work and make it somewhat automatic, you can release your mind to dream of new learning curves. Perhaps, this is an unreasonable desire for multitasking, like brainstorming is more about quality than quality.  

But one thing is certain, you will never be satisfied and probably never be compensated unless the Finishing Work is done, and it may not be able to be delegated to archive the quality you have in mind.  Think about it.

Finishing Work is always on the critical path to satisfaction.