Why It Pays To “Wind Up” At The End Of A Project Instead Of “Winding Down”

Stephen Hussey

Oh hi.

Sorry I’ve been gone for the last few weeks.

I ended up taking a short unplanned break from the blog during what turned out to be an incredibly busy month for Matt and I.

It’s not as though I feel the need to defend myself for my absence on this site, but actually I kind of do, so allow me to briefly get my excuses in. First off, I went to New York to work on a couple of projects with Matt (coming 2016, watch this space), and while I was there I even managed to get live on air on the Elvis Duran radio show for five seconds (check out Matt’s full interview here). I also went to speak and coach at one of our biggest retreats ever in Florida. Finally, we pulled together and launched our brand new podcast.

As you can imagine, this is a fair chunk to chew on for any month, let alone December, when things traditionally tend to wind down for the year.

Yet in spite of the perseverance and grit that all this required over the last few weeks, I’m also extremely proud of what we managed to do in a period when most people would have been happy to coast along to see out the year, ready to begin again afresh in January.

Matt often likes to say that true perseverance is the ability to “give twice as much energy even when you’re tired”.

Those words might sound like some pep talk from a locker-room coach before the final quarter of a football game, but that’s exactly the discussion we had as a team around November before our final month of the year. We decided to collectively give more than we had every month prior to the final one of the year, and somehow our collective effort meant that we were able to cram a huge amount into the end of this year, which, if left on our plate, could have spilled over to the first quarter of next year.

This turned out to be a triumphant moment for us all. There are great benefits to giving that extra push at the end period of a project. To name just three:

Everything you achieve feels like a “bonus”

Because we were pushing hard at the final hurdle of the year, every extra achievement felt like we were adding a bonus into the bank for the year.

This made every win feel even better for getting ourselves ahead of the game, instead of making us feel as though we would have to make up for December in January by pushing even harder.

You prove to yourself how much you still have in the tank

At the end of anything we all have a natural tendency to ease of the gas and assume we just don’t have much left to give. But in those moments if we commit to doubling down on our efforts we can astonish ourselves with how much energy we still have left, which serves as a reminder for later stressful situations when we remember just how much strength we can summon up when we need it.

You are even more productive when you have to cram it all in

Having less time to finish a task always makes you more productive.

When you set yourself ambitious goals at the end, you find that you have no time to dither and get lost in planning. Instead you just dive in and swim to the other side, and often you make greater leaps in one month than you would have in three simply because you gave yourself no other choice (and taking this into next year, always set yourself deadlines – don’t simply say “I’ll do this by the end of the 2016” – give yourself real checkpoints and milestones so that you actually finish things).

Our time in life is always more limited than we think. Sometimes this means we have to use our reserves and cram more in than we think.

Try it yourself – next time you come to the end of a project, a race, a goal, a party – find yourself winding up, instead of winding down. Make the end the moment when you give the most and leave nothing on the table.


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And finally…

Before I settle in for Christmas, let me just wish you all a truly happy holiday and thank you for sticking with me through another year on this blog. I truly appreciate it :)

Also, let me know what you would like to see more of from us next year. Any subjects I’ve ignored or not covered at all that you’d love to hear about? Let me know in the comments below.

Stephen Hussey helped co-write the Get The Guy book and is a wealth of knowledge on dating and relationships.

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19 Replies to “Why It Pays To “Wind Up” At The End Of A Project Instead Of “Winding Down””

  • I don’t know Stephen, I think you guys are actually just like me…you work best under pressure and thrive on tight deadlines ;) I think you just chose to make December more fun!

  • Absolutely agree with this, Stephen. I’ve achieved more in December than I have all year and still there’s more to come.

    Looking forward to your posts in 2016. I’d just request some with tips for improved self-worth/confidence as well as those about dating. You’re a great writer and I’m glad I got a chance to tell you that in person when you welcomed me at the Retreat.

  • Hello again Steve!

    First off, I want to say that your hard work really showed during the Retreat. Everybody in the team brought their A game and we surely appreciated it. I kinda didn’t like that your dad had to interrupt our conversation on the first night, but it was well worth it :-)

    About this topic, I still don’t know how I feel about it. When I was in university, I definitely accomplished more when I crammed everything. However, when I started working as a teacher, your days are already crammed from day 1, even if you don’t want them to, so for me it is very overwhelming to organize, set priorities, and plan effectively so that I cover everything on time. So, when I’m overwhelmed, I feel like I underperform because I lose focus. So cramming is good to a point, at least for me. What has really helped me is breaking down my goals into very small “pieces” and to reward myself on effort rather than on actual results.

    It was such a pleasure to meet you at the retreat! Have great holiday!


  • Let me say – love the photo; looks like you’re just about to laugh! Now, things you can cover – perhaps throw in a review/insight here and there of a book you’ve been reading. Does not have to be love-life related. If you are like me, there tends to be a theme to your reading that dovetails nicely with your life so I bet you will be able to grab some “this happened to me the other day ” type stories to blog about as you go along.
    My two cents. That and about four bucks will get you a Starbucks.

    1. Let me revise slightly…I understand this is not a personal blog so he content probably does need to stay somewhat consistent with the GetTheGuy brand, however, I bet you could find a way to work in current books of interest to fit.

  • Hi Stephen

    Season’s greetings and Happy New Year. You are lovely to meet in person – we met at at Matt’s event in Kensington – which rocked by the way, v. helpful tips which are helping me along life’s way. Tips on blogs interesting , what about how to deal with people or habits that guys have which annoy us, or deal with challenging people generally, anything linked to the randomness, fun and inspirational aspects of life that jolts you out of existing and living life in the now and feeling alive is always a bonus(clearly not a big ask; I jest and.am blathering on)

    Your articles are always thoughtful, on point and well written so what ever you choose to write about, I will read with interest. Hope you and Matt have great adventures in 2016 and thank-you for your input and explaining your absence ( you did not need to but it was nice that you did)

  • Hello there Steve! Happy Holidays to you too! First thing I have to say (write) it’s sorry for my not proper English. I’m a Spanish girl and my English have to improve yet.
    I just discovered you a few days ago, and fall in love with your skills to communicate.
    I don’t know if you already have said anything about one tip I’m going to share with you guys, but I think it’s a good tip to online dating that have worked for me. :)
    It’s happened to me that the beginning of any conversation online it’s terrible boring for me because of the kind of normal questions that (logically) we all do. Where do you live? What do you do for living? Bla bla bla…. Boring and tired!
    So, I’m an person who loves games, fun and challenges, and de flirting part that you seems to know better than anyone,so i started to propose to these guys a game of questions with rules to make this protocol more fun! At the beginning of the first boring question I use to say:
    “I have a game for you for answered these question, do you want to try?”
    :) of course.
    “well, these are the rules”
    “1- one question each time ( not judgement allow, and if you ask twice, meeeeeec, you will have to pay with a request and lose your turn)”
    Agree :)
    “2- the other person cannot ask in his/her turn: – and you?”
    These are (not) simple rules because you have to control yourself for not asks twice and we have no control to go deep in an subject that we just ask.

    And I use to ask for suggestions to see their creativity as well ;)

    Well, it turns out to be a great and deeper conversation and usually to the bottom of who we are, not our locations and jobs, with a lot of fun depending on our carácter and I can almost make a good prognostic of this person and the chemistry between us because I have found persons who get mad when they fail asking two questions and I make him to pay with something more difficult but always dignified.
    Anyway, I hope you liked the tips of how to flirt ;)
    Thanks for everything Steve and Matt and thanks to your parents for the amazing work they have done with their kids.

  • Nice post, happy holidays to you and yours Stephen! I’ve always enjoyed your writing “voice” in these posts, it’s clear that you give a lot of thought and want to add value to what you write here. As for topics, I’d really love to hear what you would have to add to the post on women dating in their 40s and upwards. A few patterns were brought up with regards to the specific types of challenges women face when dating at this phase in their life. I’m curious as to what your thoughts are when you read the comments and if you have any insights to share? Thanks, and wishing the best of the season.

  • Merry Christmas,
    The very same scenario happened to me this December. I had a deadline for 22nd and so much to do in that time. After railing and convincing myself Christmas had been ruined as I couldn’t spend the whole month winding down going to random parties and basically doing less, it was actually the most productive time all year. I feel raring to go and feel like I can hit the New Year running as I’ve already got so much in the bag. I was also not able to procrastinate when writing. So much better sometimes when it’s just got to be done, your focus and what you come out with even surprises yourself. It’s as if your brain goes up a gear and you think, wow that is exactly what I wanted to say and I could’ve had all year and not been able to articulate it.
    I even found time to see the Star Wars movie as soon as it came out. It’s not easy to have me time, but when the hospice offered a session for my son I seized the opportunity to go. After the nurse arriving late and me lending my views to a nice young chap filming outside I managed to miss the first half hour. A great chance/excuse to watch it again. A near religious experience for me, awesome.
    I’d like to hear some blogs from you on the male psyche maybe, I like hearing your personal view. Things men like in subtle, clever ways.
    Thank you for all your amazing blog posts throughout the year, so looking forward to the next one. Feel like I’m there already.
    Kathryn xx

  • Wow thats where we are at now. I find myself achieving more when i have more on my plate. Thank you for your insight during the busy time of the year.

  • Your post came as an extra dose of motivation for me. I’ve got some material to write before the New Year but I’ve been in family/holiday mode and waiting for a “free moment” to finish. After reading your article, I will be finishing everything by Monday!

  • Happy Holidays, Stephen!

    It was wonderful to see you at the December Retreat. Does “retreat” mean “repeated treat”? Matthew’s Retreats are non-stop treats!


  • Welcome back!
    Topics I’d like to see covered:
    -How to arrive places on time (and start work earlier in the morning when you also want to make time to exercise, pray/meditate, eat a proper breakfast, shower and get sufficient sleep!)
    -How to let a guy you’ve known awhile but don’t see regularly that you’re single (especially when he’s seen you either in-person or on social media with past boyfriend)
    -Embarrassing childhood stories about Matt ;)

    1. Two more I’d really love you to touch on!
      1. How to navigate parental (and/or close friend, siblings, etc.) disapproval of your significant other
      2. How to ask in-person if a guy is single. In this case, talking about someone you’ve known awhile, see from time to time, he was in a relationship and you think he’s single again. Both best way to show condolence about his breakup–even as a friend–and how soon to express interest if you are in fact interested!

  • Hi Stephen!

    Happy to have you back on the blog. I missed you a lot!

    Can you please cover the topic of how to deal with an incurable debilitating disease, especially if you get it at a very young age. I knew a person like this and I wonder how to stay optimistic in the situation where you feel like there is nothing but suffering ahead of you. Sorry about touching this not very happy topic during holidays. But I think since you asked to offer some ideas for new articles, this one is very important.

    I wish you amazing holidays, strong health, happiness and a lot of new super projects in the coming year!


    1. I second this topic. Found out after my most recent breakup that this was the situation for my (now former) boyfriend–didn’t want to put me through life with him knowing it’d be a real struggle because of the disease. I’m still wondering the best way to respond or what I might’ve done if he’d shared that with me when we were together.

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