There are some of us who love to dream, we thrive on new projects and starting fresh is unbelievably invigorating. I live to innovate and start something new! Solving problems and starting to initiate those solutions are extremely fulfilling for me.

However, once the process of any project has started and much of the innovation has been completed, I find that it gets increasingly difficult for me to finish the project. What was once unbelievable fun becomes a drudgery. This has plagued me my entire life and I just thought it was a character flaw.

However, a couple years ago I was introduced to the concept of "starters" and "finishers". The idea is simple-- some of us are mentally wired to start projects. We love to dream and we love to break new ground in research, design, development, etc. Starting the process of making the dream happen or implementing the research is fun. However, finishing every project we start is extremely difficult, if not painful because we don't really care to see the finished work as much as we like the process of inventing and solve the problems that can make "it" happen.

The counter to this personality type is the finisher. These are the people who may not dreamer or innovate as much but when working on a task or project, they get an extreme sense of joy from the finishing a project and releasing it. They enjoy seeing the process grow into a finished project. The last days of a successful project are the best because they thrive on closure.

When the two personality types work together, and understand each other, a lot of great things can happen. One problem that can arise, though, is that we all are often tasked to complete smaller tasks and projects that involve one person.

What are some techniques that individuals like myself can use to "finish" projects in a timely fashion while feeling like we aren't loosing our minds in the final stage of the process? I do have self-control and I can finish my work. However, it is extremely distracting and can be at a cost of efficiency.

For the other "starters" out there, have you found any techniques that help you finish strong on projects that you are solely responsible for?

closed as not constructive by jcmeloni Jul 16 '12 at 19:18

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    Hi RLH - your question was closed as not constructive, meaning it is more of a poll or discussion starter and that's not a good fit for the Stack Exchange model. If you'd like to talk about how you could get a specific/practical question out of what you have here, please feel free to ask in The Workplace Meta or The Workplace Chat. With edits, the community or moderators can vote to reopen. Thanks! – jcmeloni Jul 16 '12 at 19:18
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    Just a note that some of us get joy from both Starting and Finishing like myself... I think I speak for all of us but we get highly annoyed by people on the team who start 100 different brain dumped tasks and then leave the grunt work for others to finish. I find when people do this to me that it is childish, selfish and rude. Just because I am good at spit and polish doesn't mean that others who aren't deserve all the fun of taking on new exciting challenges. For the sake of equity, there has to be a shared responsibility or bad blood will form. – maple_shaft Jul 16 '12 at 19:21
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    @maple_shaft, I can fully understand. In fact, I don't even like the concept of some "dreamer" coming up with ideas and expecting others to do the "real work"-- it's a bit elitist. Still, there is something to be said about the mindset. I rarely finish any long term project that I start for fun. This even includes fun things like learning a new song on the guitar, or finishing a book. What makes it difficult for me to finish these fun projects, also makes it difficult to add the finishing touches to projects that I work on. I can do it, but inventive thoughts often get in my way. – RLH Jul 16 '12 at 19:31

I think there are a couple of things that might help.

1) Start out by stripping out all the non-essential and making the smallest version of it that you can (often referred to as "Minimum Viable Product"). You're more likely to finish because it's small enough that you'll still be riding high on your dream, and not worrying about the finishing tasks. Maybe everyone visiting your site is an admin at first. That's fine! Colors are off, buttons are square. No worries! Just get it out there and prove to yourself that the idea has value.

2) Once you've finished a small version of your final product, start asking for feedback. Maybe some of the things you're bogging down in aren't actually as important as you think. Anything you can trim off your list will bring the finish line closer. Alternately, having proved you've got something valuable, you may be able to attract a "finisher" to help you through the end.

(Note: I'm not saying you should post your code / put your site URL up on Reddit and ask for reactions. Find a small group of people you trust and who will give you good criticism. Tell them "this is a project that appeals to X to help them Y" so they understand the constraints.)

3) Make sure you have a list. If you can keep track of everything that's left, then you can split up the mundane tasks so you can divvy them up - alternate between the mundane and the interesting. (Or at least, the mundane configuration issues and the mundane bug-fixing.)

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