Start Finishing Book Summary - Start Finishing Book explained in key points
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Start Finishing summary

Charlie Gilkey

How to Go from Idea to Done

4.6 (115 ratings)
19 mins

Brief summary

Start Finishing by Charlie Gilkey is a practical guide that helps readers overcome procrastination and achieve their goals by breaking down projects into manageable steps. With insight, tools and techniques, Gilkey teaches how to stop spinning your wheels and start taking action towards your dreams.

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    Start Finishing
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    ​To do your best work, first turn your ideas into projects.

    Here’s a question: What does the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle have in common with the Dalai Lama, Buddhism’s spiritual leader? They both teach that humans thrive through action.

    But not just any action. People thrive when they do the things that their own unique experience, knowledge, and perspective prepare them for. The author calls this doing best work. 

    So what’s your best work? If you’re not sure, look for clues in the ideas that constantly nag at you. Among those ideas are the ones that will lead to your best work. In order to thrive, you need to identify which ones they are – and act on them. 

    The key message here is: ​To do your best work, first turn your ideas into projects.

    When you hear the word “project,” you probably think of school or work. But a project is anything that requires time, attention, and effort to complete – and life is full of them. Preparing for the first day of school is a project. So is moving to a new city. 

    Projects reveal your inner world. Think about it: If you find yourself dreading Mondays, that tells you a lot about what you don’t enjoy, just as finding yourself eagerly working late on a project clues you in to what you are passionate about. And best work projects – that is, projects that allow you to do your best work – create opportunities for you to thrive.

    But how do you know which idea to turn into your first best work project? 

    Try this simple exercise: First, write down all the ideas you’re considering. These can range from creative initiatives at work to organizing the garage or going on a dream trip. Next, cross off the ideas that don’t deeply resonate with you and those you wouldn’t mind letting go of.

    The ideas you’re left with are those that are important to you. But you still have to zoom in on one idea. To do this, consider the following: Which idea would you most like to celebrate completing? Which one will have the most significant impact on your life five years from now? Perhaps there’s an idea for which you’d happily wake up early or stay up late – or one you’d be heartbroken to abandon. 

    The idea that meets most of these criteria is the one to work on first. And the following blinks will demonstrate exactly how to do this.

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    Key ideas in Start Finishing

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    What is Start Finishing about?

    Start Finishing (2019) is a guide for turning your ideas into projects that you can push all the way to completion. It shares easy-to-follow steps and tips for selecting the right idea, making it feasible, and overcoming any challenges that you may encounter along the way. 

    Start Finishing Review

    Start Finishing (2019) by Charlie Gilkey is a must-read for anyone struggling to complete their projects. Here's why this book stands out:

    • Packed with practical strategies, it provides actionable steps to overcome procrastination and achieve project completion.
    • By combining personal anecdotes with insights from successful creatives, the book offers relatable and inspiring perspectives.
    • With its engaging storytelling and emphasis on self-discovery, it keeps readers invested, ensuring that the journey towards finishing is anything but boring.

    Best quote from Start Finishing

    Focus blocks fuel your best work. No or too few focus blocks equals no finished best work.

    —Charlie Gilkey
    example alt text

    Who should read Start Finishing?

    • Would-be entrepreneurs sitting on great ideas
    • Frustrated creatives who want to be more productive
    • People interested in improving their project management skills

    About the Author

    Charlie Gilkey is a philosopher, army veteran, and entrepreneur. His company, Productive Flourishing, is dedicated to helping creatives, entrepreneurs, and leaders thrive in their work and personal lives. Gilkey is also the author of The Small Business Life Cycle and the host of the Productive Flourishing podcast.

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    Start Finishing FAQs 

    What is the main message of Start Finishing?

    The main message of Start Finishing is to overcome procrastination and take action on your creative ideas.

    How long does it take to read Start Finishing?

    The reading time for Start Finishing varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Start Finishing a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Start Finishing is a valuable read for anyone looking to increase their productivity and achieve their goals.

    Who is the author of Start Finishing?

    The author of Start Finishing is Charlie Gilkey.

    What to read after Start Finishing?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Start Finishing, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The Next Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley & Sarah Stanley Fallaw
    • Indistractable by Nir Eyal
    • ADHD for Smart Ass Women by Tracy Otsuka
    • Raising Critical Thinkers by Julie Bogart
    • Level Up by Rob Dial
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