Start Finishing

We are either creating something or we are destroying something.

Charlie Gilkey

I was listening to The One You Feed podcast where Eric Zimmer interviewed Charlie Gilkey—author of the Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done book—when I heard this phrase that resonated with me.

Charlie made some interesting points about why it is important to finish things:

  • The impact for ourselves and everyone else comes only when we finish things.
  • We only get mastery from finishing things.
  • Not finishing the work that matters to us can cause “creative constipation.”

The third point is critical (at least for me) and a good way to understand how things work in our minds. We are constantly looking for inspiration and knowledge, but what do we do with it? Sometimes it ends up in the form of notes or to-do items for when we have time.

Then we end up with so many cool ideas but mentally tired/stuck, and we don’t push those ideas into the world.

What do we do with our (free) time?

We tell ourselves that we’ll wait for the moment when we have enough time. But we don’t realize that when we are not finishing (creating) we are destroying:

  • Relationships: We are not living the moment and being our best version since we are thinking about all our to-dos.
  • Resources: One of the most precious resources we have is time. We can never recover wasted time.

That doesn’t mean we need to be slaves to our to-do lists or that we need to be always working. Balance is always important, but when we are not in our day job or sharing time with our loved ones we could be creating.

Otherwise, we’ll suffer the ultimate consequences of feeling frustrated and full of negative energy.

I share this as a personal reminder, and I hope it can bring some clarity for you as well.

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