Done! (Now how do I clean up?)

A lot of creative people find that they run out of steam once the fun and challenging part of a creative project is complete. But if we don’t do those final steps of finishing off and cleaning up, it can make our creative lives more difficult. Here are 6 tips to make these last steps easier.

1. A hot mess is better than a cold mess

Get to the finishing and clean up sooner rather than later.

2. Work out a regular finishing and clean up process

Include things like recording your work, filing, removing from your workspace what isn’t needed, making notes…whatever serves your creative life.

3. Separate out the unknowns

At the end of a project, there are usually a lot of simple small steps that you can easily do, and a few things you haven’t quite decided what to do with yet. If you put the unknown elements out of the process to be dealt with later, you can get on with doing the stuff that is easy enough to do.

4. Make an action list

Anything that needs to happen in the future can be recorded on an action list. Pop any reminders or notes into your diary system too. Then you can relax and know you won’t forget it later.

5. Your finish and clean-up are still part of the project

This is clearly the truth, but sometimes we don’t think of it like this. From the start, see these last steps as an important aspect.

6. Celebrate

When you are finished the clean-up and final steps, celebrate the whole project. This helps you keep enthusiastic till the very end.

(Bonus tip: Leave the part of the project that will give you a sense of ‘task completion’ until after you’ve done the boring stuff you’d otherwise avoid. Maybe I should call this a bonus trick? Sometimes you have to get cunning with yourself…)