Purposeful photography eliminates much of the guess work. It provides a reason for your efforts. These efforts can be pointed in multiple directions at the same time. I start and complete projects all the time. sometimes I will have several projects going at the same time. Projects can run for just about any length of time, from a single day, weekend, a month or longer. My longest running project was a year long effort to photograph one of my favorite locations, Shanty Hollow Lake. It was a difficult challenge but at the same time provided me with some spectacular opportunities and it ran concurrently with other shorter duration projects. All of these provided a measure of focus for what I wanted to accomplish both artisitically and personally.
One of the elements I was able to employ was the concept of always photographing to inspire. Random shooting rarely helps you create or find inspiration. However, random shooting does have its merits in that it might help you discover a purpose. I've actually done this by simply heading out with no real agenda to run across an opportunity that jump started an idea. Once I defined the project purpose, I was able to focus in on specific elements I wanted to accomplish. By doing so, instead of capturing simple snap shots of things I began to look for those moments that creatively defined the intent of the project.
Creating a purpose for your photography will in time stimulate your creative instincts and elevate your photography to higher level.