Start Finishing | Charlie Gilkey

Summary of: Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done
By: Charlie Gilkey


In ‘Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done’, Charlie Gilkey helps readers identify their best work projects and guides them through the process of bringing these ideas to life. The book offers techniques to choose the right project, navigate challenges, cultivate essential qualities, create SMART goals, and utilize efficient strategies to build momentum. By learning to understand and manage priorities, preventing delays, and maintaining consistency, you’ll be able to transform your ideas into successful projects.

Thriving through Action

The book highlights that humans thrive through action, specifically doing their best work, which entails identifying and turning their ideas into projects. Projects reveal one’s inner world and help identify their passions, which is essential to thriving. To identify their best work project, one needs to consider the ideas that deeply resonate with them and the ones they would be happy to complete, even if it requires early mornings or late nights. By prioritizing the ideas that meet most of these criteria, individuals can identify their best work project and learn how to turn it into a reality.

Cultivating Qualities for Completing Best Work Projects

Completing best work projects can be challenging due to distractions, head trash, lack of resources, and support. However, adopting qualities such as intention, awareness, boundaries, courage, and discipline can help overcome these challenges.

Undertaking any project comes with numerous challenges that one must face to ensure its success. The same applies to best work projects that require exceptional effort and commitment to achieve the desired results. However, specific challenges hinder the start and completion of best work projects. These challenges include distractions from other priorities, self-doubt, lack of resources and support, and unrealistic plans. Fortunately, cultivating certain qualities can help overcome these challenges and ensure the successful completion of best work projects.

The first quality one must develop is intention. Setting clear intentions for one’s projects will develop more realistic plans, providing a clear roadmap of what to expect and how to achieve it. Next, awareness is crucial to understand oneself and better interpret the world around, identifying competing priorities, maximizing available resources, and making informed decisions. Furthermore, establishing boundaries will help create enough time and space to work on the project, reducing distractions and interruptions.

Courage is an essential quality to overcome head trash, self-doubt, and other obstacles that may hinder the progress of the best work project. Lack of courage makes it difficult even to start the project, and therefore, it is vital to cultivate courage to face various challenges and overcome them. Discipline is necessary to develop habits of sticking to the plans, maintaining boundaries, and other routines that ensure consistency and dedication to the project. Through cultivating these qualities, individuals can confidently overcome the hurdles and complete their best work projects successfully.

Project Planning with SMART Goals

This book offers a formula to plan a successful project with SMART goals and a support network. The author emphasizes that selecting a goal with a clear direction is crucial, and advises using the SMART acronym (Simple, Meaningful, Actionable, Realistic, Trackable) to establish it. The author highlights the importance of having a success pack – mentors, peers, supporters, and beneficiaries who will contribute to the project’s success. The book suggests enlisting a maximum of five people per category and communicating with them regularly. By following these steps, readers can plan and execute their best project ideas.

Making Time for Projects

The key message: think of your project as a series of smaller parts that build on each other. To make time for your project, divide it into time-based activities and connect them to a timescale that fits your schedule. Focus on building and maintaining momentum with at least three focus blocks each week, and take breaks by scheduling recovery blocks.

Do you struggle to find time to work on your best work projects? The reality is that you’ll never find enough time, you have to make it. To start, divide your project into time-based activities that you can accomplish in hours, days, weeks, and months. The more significant the project, the more parts it will consist of, and the longer it will take. For example, starting a business would require a few days to research, a few weeks to create a business plan, and several months to launch.

Once you’ve identified the activities, connect them to a timescale that works for you. Look at your weekly schedule and carve out blocks of time dedicated to focus blocks, which are for solo work that pushes the project forward. You need at least three of these each week to build and maintain momentum. Admin blocks of 30 to 60 minutes each are also essential to move the project along. For activities that involve collaborating or connecting with loved ones, schedule social blocks.

Remember, it’s also crucial to rest and recharge. Schedule recovery blocks for every two focus or social blocks to prevent burnout. Spend this time doing anything that recharges you, like exercising, reading, or going to a party. By thinking of your project as a series of smaller parts, you can make time for it and achieve success.

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