Creative work is never really done because there is always an opportunity to improve it. You might be weeks past the deadline on a project and have already turned it in even though you weren’t thrilled with the end results, then suddenly have a brilliant idea that would have completely changed the game. The reality is that your mind has continued to work in the background on the project, seeking new stimulus and inspiration because you hadn’t really ever quit the project.
First, this is natural and normal. If you had unlimited time and resources, you could spend as much time as necessary to get the project to the best possible outcome. You don’t.
Second, it’s important not to allow past projects to obsess you and siphon time, attention, and energy from your current work. (Have you ever met someone who still relives that critical play from an important high school game? Don’t be that person.)
When you have that “Oh! I should have done X!” moment, log it, learn from it, but don’t relive the project. And once the project is complete, close the book and move on. Focus on what’s ahead.
Don’t second-guess and keep noodling on old work. Close the book and move on.
Is there a past project you’re still a little obsessed with? How can you close the book and move on?