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The Importance of Being Finished

Posted September 25, 2011 | 12:27 pm, by nadine

A friend of mine posted a link to her facebook profile today, called The 10 Happiest Jobs. It was a follow up to Forbe’s 10 Most Hated Jobs.

My happiest job, no lie, was working on a raspberry farm while I was in college. It was a pick your own farm run by this battle-axe of an old woman. We didn’t always get along, but we understood one another for the most part. The first year I did admin work, the following year I worked outside…and let me tell you, nothing is more satisfying than looking at a pile of clippings that you cleared out of a field. Yes the days were long, yes the vacation time was spotty, but I went home at the end of each day knowing that I would not have to clear cut that part of the field tomorrow when I returned.

And there was something to be said for that concrete knowledge.

Enter the internet…

The problem I find with internet based design is that its never quite done. There’s generally something that pops up, even after launch, that needs attention, or a tweak, or an upgrade, software changes and you have to re-do something sometimes over a year later…etc.. and this is a problem. I think we inheriently like being finished, or at least I do.

In fact most of those “happy jobs” have some kind of an end to them. The physical teaching in a classroom semester ends, you finish a painting, a patient is rehabilitated and moves on…etc. It is the one thing I do envy about print designers and illustrators. When something is sent to print…its done. It does not come back to life and end up in your inbox. Or maybe it does, but not likely in the same way as a website.

Lately I’ve been personally wrestling with this feeling of not being “done” with projects. And so I pose the question: What are some of the things you do, to feel done?

Do you have clauses have you have written to ensure something is finished…or at least feels finished? Do you do other things to counter-act this feeling (ie: sometimes I bake a pie, its easy, you see immediate results, and you get pie at the end). Do you have an end of project ritual? etc.

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