Going Slow Is The Fastest Way to Go

Many people are good at starting new things. Whether it’s a new business, or a new game project, or a new website – they’ve always interested in starting something new. New always seems to be fun.

For one or two weeks.

That’s how much many people enjoy new things, and then they come up with even better fun idea and promise that “this time I’ll make it properly”.

Until two weeks passes.

Soon they’ll realize that there were some problems… mostly about others. Others were problem because they left the team or there was too much competition or that somebody in the team just realized that it just wouldn’t work – so it’s better to start another project.

These people might struggle on their jobs, starting new things and go complaining on forums “how they’ve trie everything” (and then list all the projects they’ve started). Things just won’t work and besides, they have too little time because of jobs, families and hobbies to care.

These people have a problem.

In their minds the problem seem like it’s time or other people, but if they’ve managed to start many businesses, many game projects, many great new things for years… it cannot be time. It cannot always be other people.

It’s most likely about lack of persistance.

If you think about learning languages. Nobody masters a new language when they start. I’ve studied Finnish, English, Swedish, German, France – even Chinese. I manage with Finnish and English pretty well, but don’t really have good skills in any other languages. I’ve studied English for over ten years, but spent much less time and effort on other languages. I spent less than 100 hours learning Chinese. Naturally you can understand that my Chinese is way more weak than my English. That’s quite natural since I’ve spent so much more time studying and learning English. This is where many people do a mistake. They think that building a successful game, project, or a business should happen instantly. It’s like they would try learning France and after 2 months they can’t speak fluently and they go to forums telling how nobody can learn France. They also try German, Swedish, Polish and Russia and go telling people how “they’ve tried learning all these languages – it’s impossible to master them”.

Of course it’s impossible in such a small time frame. You simply cannot learn a language in couple of months – and same goes with so many things in life as well. You gotta have persistence. Instead of tying to find fast success, focus on developing your persistence. In fact… that’s the fast track to success. Take baby steps towards your goal. Take those steps daily. You simply have to be persistent.

Most people are good at starting new things. That’s easy. Not everybody possess the will and persistence to finish what they’ve started.

And that’s the hard part.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. @overklokan: splitting huge job in smaller tasks is also good way to motivate yourself – it’s nice to see list of items getting done, instead of thinking the whole project.

  2. @Christian yeah, im more like that … if i have to work on same thing
    for more than few days i became bored and lose motivation = so i found
    its better to do job which would normaly require few persons (drawing,
    coding, story, etc) only by myself … it will take more time to finish the
    project but i wont die out of monotony in the process ;o=

  3. @Flox: Yeh, giving ‘meaning’ and ‘reason’ for the project is good way to justify it – and help you stay motivated.

    @Conquerirlemonde: Non… je ne pas parle Francais… ;) I really don’t speak. Just know a few words and something about the pronounciation.

    @Christian: No need to apologise… it happens to everybody (I’m good example). It’s only the scale that matters – we gotta be more and more persistent.

    @Tim & Raelifin: Don’t go into that route… :)

  4. One way to conquer this ‘starting everything but not finishing anything’ syndrome is to have a larger goal, one in which the project is merely a means to an end. That way, the project is assessed through larger reasoning, and not subject to innuendo and inclination. (A project that is merely there for itself, and references itself, has no real reason to exist – whereas a project that is on a path to a more significant goal suddenly has function and a reason).

    When one realises this, the finishing or the starting is not what it’s about, it’s in fact about the mission.

  5. Well, I apologize that my behaviour is exactly like that sometimes. So, whenever I organize/refresh my todo-list, I try to mix very different things together. Like first writing that one section in the DD, than implementing that function/toolset in that DLL, than making dummy files for the next step of this and that, implementing a new section for my webpage, etc.pp. – all very different tasks.

    I catch myself too often being bored and slow when I do a series of similar tasks for quiet a while. When I do different things (coding/writing/research/drawing) I’ll get more stuff done in the same amount of time, because I am motivated everytime a little more on another task because its a “new” thing (which is in fact not “new” but it requires another mental state, so to say).

    So if you are “sick” of this (it could turn in physical illness as well after a long time in this state), it all depends on how you manage yourself.

  6. Agreed. I have constant trouble knowing when to drop a project and start another. Once you pour in so much time and effort it becomes hart to let go instead of realising “one more patch.” Heh, sounds like a drug adict.

  7. *almost finished* – A project is never finished, it merely goes through stages of development and release.

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