I previously thought my half baked "works in progress" were failed attempts at a full song. I always thought it was better to cut my losses and throw them into the graveyard folder. Sometimes you just gotta move on!
But lately I've been bringing those projects back from the grave using a pretty sick feature in Ableton (I'm not sure whether or not you can do this in other DAWs).
Ableton allows you to drag and drop an entirely separate project file into your current project, including all your samples, MIDI, and effects. This is seriously helpful with starting and finishing your track efficiently.
For example, I'll have a drop that is starting to sound good but I haven't begun to work on any other part of the song. When I'm in the zone of working on that drop, I don't want to spend time creating a whole new buildup. Instead of losing creative momentum while I'm making the drop, I can find an old graveyard WIP that already has a buildup and drop it in. Now I can build up that energy to see if my drop is actually as good as I think it is.
Just recorded some sexy synth chords? Got an old drum loop from months ago that didn't get used? Drop it in. Keep those creative juices flowing.
So don't get too down on yourself if you walk away from a four hour session with only a 16 bar loop, because chances are you could use it in the future!