There is an expiry date for every work. Every project is not a life-time project. Most must be shut down after a specific period of time.

As said in the last post, we love to do new things and start new projects. Sometimes it is easy to fall in love with a pet project and wish it will never end. But as time goes, we sense something is missing with that piece of work.

People normally choose one of the following three ways at that juncture:

 1. Pretend as if everything is okay and try to run the project. But very soon they will come to face the hard fact.

2. Knowing the problem, they put more effort and resources into the project. But if the root is utterly ruined, no extra effort is going to help.

3. Analyzing the problem, they decide to dump the project and direct energy and resources into a brand new project.

But how do you know when it is time to dump a project? During pressure, it is easy to think about shutting down the project. But the truth may be, you are simply quitting! So what are the factors that provide solid evidence that your project has reached its expiry date? Here are four major signs:

1. No profit. There was profit, earlier. But now, nothing. Even when there is, it’s in fractions. Now the work has become a liability.

2. No passion. While there was great interest in the project during the early days, now everything has become dry and passionless. The joy of working has been lost. Drudgery has taken the center stage.

3. No punch. It’s as if there is no electricity. The momentum is gone. The charisma has withered. The cutting edge has broken off. It’s just a vegetable existence.

4. No progress. Gone are the days of grand goals and achievements. Now it’s just the mundane stuff. Same old same old. No growth. No expectation. The work has deformed itself into a plateau.

These signs are sure signs that demand attention. If you find these in a specific project, it is time that you take an appropriate action. Pretense and more trying won’t work. Dumping is the only solution, even if it hurts. But it’s hurting already. What more can it hurt, anyway?

Start planning to direct your energy and resources into a new promising project. And that’s for the next post!

Question: What other signs are there that help you determine the expiry date of a project? Add your comments here.

© Joe Abraham. March 12, 2012

Image courtesy: ddpavumba/

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About Joe Abraham

I like inspiring people to excel in career and life. For more info, check out the About page.
  • Loren Pinilis

    This is so true. I think we need to regularly re-examine what we’re doing and see if they’re still worth pursuing. Your four points are great. I would also add that sometimes it doesn’t even have to do with the project itself. Sometimes, it’s just that our lives have changed in other areas and our resources are better spent elsewhere.

    • Dan Black

      Great point about re-examining the project/goal, this is a must. 

      • Joe Abraham


    • Joe Abraham

      I agree with what you said about the life-change. That’s when we need to re-evaluate our priorities and act accordingly. Thanks Loren for the add. 

  • Dan Black

    This is very helpful for me, I really like your points. I think passion is a huge one, if you have lost your passion for a project then it can be hard to complete. I’m referring to a personal project or goal and not a work one. Their are a lot of projects/goals we have to do or complete to keep our jobs.  

    • Joe Abraham

      Thanks for broadening the topic, Dan!
      Yes, often there are multiple projects/goals in our job list. The key is to be passionate about each item or the right items. By the way, like to know how you do that.

      • Dan Black

        Your welcome. I think it depends on the situation. Thank you for writing such a great post.

        • Joe Abraham

          I agree.

          You are welcome!

  • TCAvey

     Very true.  It can be hard to give something up- especially when you have invested so much time, effort and even self into it. 

    Seeking God’s guidance can help one let go of things they are holding onto.  However, we must not be fooled by Satan into giving up on something just because it hasn’t happened yet.

    Joseph in the book of Genesis had a vision at age 17, it took around 20 years for it to come to pass.  He was sold into slavery and sent to prison before his vision finally occurred.  With all things we must make sure our visions and projects are inspired by God and lead by God- if not then nothing else really matters.  If they are inspired by God we must expect testing and expect Satan to try and get us to give up.

    The key is to know when it is God telling you to let something go and when it is satan trying to disturb Gods work.  Not so easy to do.  Your list is a great way to help determine who is speaking to us.  Thanks.

    • Joe Abraham

      Great insight, TC! It is true that we need to recognize the difference between God’s ‘stretching’ and the devil’s ‘pressing’. Move with God and resist the devil!

      • TCAvey

        Amen to that- I like it- move with God and resist the devil!

  • Larry Carter

    Good question.  I considered pulling the plug on my blog because nothing was happening.  This was my third attempt at a blog and had decided to throw in the towel.  Then suddenly my traffic started growing and people commented.  So, I think it’s something that you just have to take a hard look at.  I changed my attitude and what my approach was.  So, it was really about me not doing everything I needed to do to succeed.

    • Joe Abraham

      Thanks for joining in the conversation, Larry! Glad to know that your blog has started seeing growth. Like to recommend Michael Hyatt’s “10 WAYS TO GENERATE MORE BLOG TRAFFIC” which has really helped me to regain focus and passion to do better blogging. Here’s the link:

  • Paul Mala

    very very thanks for boosting &encouraging the mind.
       God bless
         pr.paul mala,AG,PEECHI

    • Joe Abraham

      You are welcome, Pr. Paul.

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