Update 1st Jul 2020

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This may sound like a slightly odd question for those of you brought up on a diet of never quit if you want to get where you want to go, but let’s step back and reframe it for a second.

Is there a right time to say: ‘this isn’t working, I need to try something else’? Let’s take a look…

What Does ‘Quitting’ Mean?

We’re not necessarily talking about quitting a job here folks, we could be referring to a whole host of different things. Removing yourself from a project that just isn’t working, cancelling one if you have the authority to do so, or changing your side project because it isn’t as beneficial as you once thought it would be.

In this instance what ‘quit’ really means is redirecting your energy and efforts to more worthwhile pursuits; not simply throwing in the towel because you’ve had enough.

You Only Have So Much Time

One of the great levellers in the world is time. None of us can generate more of it than we’re allotted, and we’re each given the same number of hours a day in which to get stuff done. By quitting something that is no longer worthwhile in favour of something potentially more fruitful you’re demonstrating that you value your time.

There is no real honour in keeping going on and on with a task or project that is clearly doomed to failure, but this is where the tricky part comes in…

Standing Up is the Hardest Part

When you want to voice that something just isn’t working or has now been made redundant by outside events you will often be greeted with an all too familiar chorus. It’s one in which you’re pepped up to keep going, tough times don’t last tough people do, and so on and so forth.

The issue you’re facing here is one of perception. The noises you’re making may be incredibly prescient and well-informed, but to others they will look and sound remarkably familiar to what they hear when someone simply has had enough and wants to throw in the towel. What you need to do is explain your point step by step…

Making Your Voice Heard

Obviously if you’re looking at changing up your side project in your free time you’re only reporting to yourself and so won’t have to battle perception. If on the other hand you’re working with a team you’ll need to read this last bit carefully.

Jumping up and down and making a lot of noise won’t get you all that far. What you need to do is distance yourself from the image of someone who is simply fed up, and you do it by being calm and reasonable. Spell out clearly why you have come to the conclusion you have, and make sure you offer an alternative.

No one likes to hear nothing but problems, what they really want is a problem followed by a solution. If you can succinctly explain how effort and resources can be redirected elsewhere your argument for changing things up will be all the more convincing. 

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