Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done

Charlie Gilkey
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Awards for Start Finishing:

Publishers Weekly Fall 2019 Top 10 Business and Economics Books

Book Authority Best New Book in (the categories of) Time Management, Success, Productivity, and Goal Setting

Kirkus Reviews Top Indie Book

Montaigne Medal Finalist

Independent Publisher Book Award 2020: Silver Award for Business/Careers/Sales

Eric Hoffer Book Award 2020: Grand Prize

Productivity Meets Purpose-Discover a Powerful Nine-Step Method to Start Finishing the Work That Matters Most

How much of your time and attention lately has been focused on things that truly matter to you?

Most people's honest answer is: not enough.

Everyone is buried by busywork, responsibility, distraction, and fatigue.

The joy-producing, difference-making ideas are waiting for when the time is right, when the current project is over, when they have a little more money, when the kids are grown, or when they get a more understanding boss. They are waiting for someday.

The trouble is someday never comes on its own.

Start Finishing presents a nine-step method for converting an idea into a project by addressing the challenges you'll face and getting the project on a reality-based schedule.

This critically acclaimed book will teach you how to:

Practice the five keys that lead to self-mastery

Build your success pack of supporters, guides, peers, and beneficiaries

Keep working through the thrashing that comes with any project that matters to you

Chunk, link, and sequence your ideas down to doable parts

Use the Five Project Rule to prioritize your daily schedule and be at peace with the work you choose not to do

Fly through drag points-how to deal with head trash, no-win scenarios, and other people's priorities

Heatmap your schedule so you do the right work at the right time

Overcome cascades, logjams, and tarpits-the three ways projects routinely get stuck

Finish strong-celebrate, review, and ride the momentum to your next goal

You are not incapable, wired to struggle, or fated to be unable to get your act together. With a few key steps, you can change the way you show up, how you plan, and how you respond when things get tough.

You can Start Finishing the work that matters most to you.

Includes original contributions from Seth Godin, Susan Piver, Jonathan Fields, James Clear, and many other teachers.


The reason I’m guiding you to finish rather than start is because I’m near certain that you’ve already started quite a few things. Somewhere along the way, in physical, mental, and digital drawers, th...

About the Author:

CHARLIE GILKEY is the founder of Productive Flourishing, a company that helps professional creatives, leaders, and changemakers take meaningful action on work that matters. He is the author of The Small Business Life Cycle, and is widely cited in outlets such as Inc., Time, Forbes, the Guardian, Lifehacker, and more. He's also an Army veteran and near-PhD in philosophy. He lives in Portland, Oregon. For more, visit

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