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Staying motivated to complete a projects . . thoughts? Answered

We've all been there, and I'm right there currently with a specific project:

I was excited at first and started making this thing, and about midway through I've lost complete interest in the project and am struggling with motivation to finish it!

For me, the contests here on Instructables were a great motivator with specific deadlines that always kept me motivated . . . but I work here now and cannot participate in them ; )

When I lose interest in a project, it's often because the intriguing creative challenges have all been solved, but the project isn't yet completed. However I'm ready to move on to the next thing . . so the half-finished projects keep piling up.

I've found that I'm far more interested in the active problem-solving process that "making" provides, than in actually producing completed things. It's an odd dilemma, and maybe I'm not alone in this.

Do you experience this same mid-project disinterest?

Aside from deadlines, what do you do to stay motivated to complete projects once the interest begins to dissipate?

I'd love to hear my fellow Instructables authors' thoughts. Let's have a conversation!

Discussions

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mtairymd

26 days ago

Yep, same here. I have multiple half completed projects in my workshop. Usually, I get half way through and determine I don’t like it anymore or think it’s not good enough to publish. With that, they just sit in the corner.

Contests are good motivators. I've found out that any competition brings out the competitive juices in people. As you said, having a deadline helps as well. Adding more contest with unique themes would be a plus.

I still haven’t seen a good collaboration option on instructables. Having someone push you to meet an end date might help. I know it has been discussed before but I don’t see any progress towards improving that function.

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Omnivent

26 days ago

Hi,
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You're certainly not alone on this one!
The fun part for me will always be the brain-work and lacking a machine shop, doesn't help a bit - there's only so much you can do on your lap or on a kitchen table.
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I used to be a member of some clubs at the local uni (electronics, wood and metal) and had access to "everything", but while it certainly helped to be only 5 minutes away (before I moved), I still build up a lot of "in transition" projects. When you cracked it, having an apprentice would be nice to do the monkey work :)
That said, I keep going back to those, as they're sometimes just being delayed until I get the right tools and/or materials.
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Solving the puzzle is where I find most satisfaction, while the execution is more of "told you I could do it" and I don't really feel that need.
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Having several projects at different stages of finish, gives you the benefit to choose, what you wanna continue on, at any particular time, so I don't view it as failure, but rather that I get more done that way.
Finally, my creative side comes in waves, some weeks I use 10 to 20 A4 pages a day, while at other times I just stare at the blank paper and hence go to the more physical side of projects.
I store most half transitioned projects in plastic boxes, together with parts and jigs made for it (sometimes tools as well), so I don't have to search for the stuff once more.
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Have a nice day :)

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Brian M V

26 days ago

i gotta be honest, the instructables-contest are a big part of getting to those ideas that have been floating around for years! i think i'm on your page concerning the half-finished project that keep piling up..!
normally i have about 8 project running at the same time. this has it advantages as i can switch easily when i'm bored of the other. but then again some projects never get finished...
nowadays i try to only make things for other people, which is a great motivator! i'm currently constructing a fourth tree-of-life necklace; the fun has been gone after the first 2, but the people i'm making them for are soo happy once they get them, it makes it worth the hassle!
it might also help to make projects for birthdays, as holiday presents and those sort of days!

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rickharris

26 days ago

For me although the making and problem solving is enjoyable I still only make things that others want or I want. That way I need to get to the end.
breaking a project down into small sections with defined outcomes also helps a lot. that way you can see and touch each milestone as they are finished.

A project isn't a monolith - one big chunck of work it's a lot of minor triaumphs that when fitted together make something wonderful.