You can do it. #Finish that project.

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Word of the day: #finish!

Finishing. What is it about finishing a project that can be so difficult? Sometimes, we get stuck before we even begin, or we let excuses hold us back. For me, it’s all about mind over matter. To finish, I must focus. To focus, I must have a path to follow.

It’s March 2016, two years after I started the process to attain an accreditation in public relations (APR) through the Public Relations Society of America back in 2014. This process really should only take about six months if you buckle down and “git er” done.

I’ve always excelled most when in a group setting … study groups, workout classes, whatever it may be, give me a social setting and I’m there! When we started the APR studying process two years ago, the study group kinda fizzled and therefore my momentum fizzled. But, that will not be the case this year. This year is all about #finish no matter what. Period. End of story.

Trusted APR professionals had some wise words to kick off our first study session this year:

“I told myself: Come hell or high water, I’m going to take that test.” – Erik Robinson, APR
“Do it for yourself and for no other reason than to finish.” – Patti Atkins, APR
“Hashtag finish!” – Barbara Kerr, APR, Fellow PRSA

Find your place of inspiration

Have you noticed that when you find that perfect place to write, the words are more apt to flow? Or when you need to buckle down and finish a project, if you’re in an uncluttered room, it results in an uncluttered mind, which helps you hone in on the task at hand? Being in the right environment is key to following through on your projects. To set myself up for success with this APR process, I’ve blocked out time each week when the kids are away and I can focus.

Clear your thoughts

How do you clear your thoughts? You have 500 other things to do. The stress of those things weighing on your mind is counteracting your productivity! In Entrepreneur magazine, they published a great article on 8 Ways to Clear your Mind of Stress, with ideas such as talking to a friend, writing down your thoughts in a journal, going for a run, meditating and unplugging.
Once I’m in my place of inspiration, I clear my mind by “downloading” my thoughts, which are usually to-do’s, in my planner and then I set those aside. That makes me rest assured that I’ll follow through with those later, so I can focus on the task at hand!

Check it off

There’s a dynamic monthly networking group (of course, I’m a joiner!) in my community called “Small Steps, Big Results,” put on by Allison McKenzie of GROW-EDC.

The concept is this: People of all different professional capacities and backgrounds come together to support and encourage one another in celebrating our accomplishments and finishing the projects we are most inspired to do. We identify our top projects and break them down into a list of tasks that would take no more than 20 minutes, so that we can make the project feel less cumbersome and more achievable. It gives me the framework to check off tasks, which I love to do! Check it off! #finish!

I can’t wait to start my Small Steps, Big Results list on finishing this APR.

Step 1: Sign up for the prep courses in Portland. Check!
Step 2: Find local study buddies. Check!
Step 3: Start attending the prep courses. Check!
Step 4: Download & print the APR study guide. Check!
Step 5: Purchase the book. Check!

And so it goes, with the final step being to take the computer-based examination this summer. Let’s do this!

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