We all love that feeling of accomplishment that we experience when we complete the task that begin. But at times we struggle to finish the task. For some of us it becomes a string of tasks that are unfinished. How to tackle this difficulty? What is the reason for it? Is it lack of hard work? Inability? Or the circumstances outside your control? How do you break this habit once and for all? Here are some points that you may want to contemplate on…
- Observe your past pattern: If you often tend to leave tasks incomplete, there could be some common factors, both internal and external, that might be coming in your way of finishing the task. Identify those factors. Identify how many of those factors can be controlled and how many of them are not within your control.
Know your limits: Know your strengths and limitations. Is the task that you have taken up within your capacity of completion? What would you rather have- a half finished dream or a finished task? Taking up a lot of different tasks will derail the train completely.
- Remember, time cannot be managed: Time remains constant, you can only align the work that you wish to do according to the time available. Keep realistic deadlines for the work. Being overambitious will not help you reach the deadline faster. Do you have a history of thinking that things will take less time than they actually do? Build a fudge-factor into your estimates.
- Do not just work hard; work smart too: Sometimes, thinking through the tasks and using certain strategies will help you work smarter and complete the tasks successfully.
- Plan in advance: Plan not just the task but also the time and effort required for it. Prioritize if you have many tasks.
- Set goals: Long term as well as short term goals can be laid down. Progress should be checked regularly. After you’ve made a little progress, revisit your expectations and adjust them as needed, so that you do not feel disappointed later.
- Small does not mean unimportant: At times, we consider a task to be less important because it feels like it can be taken care of in a jiffy. However these are the most likely tasks that will be pushed to the backburner and not completed. For example, we easily forget to take our medicines although it is still very important. Learn to finish those small things too. Allocate time for seemly small tasks and follow the schedule. If you’re washing the dishes, avoid leaving that greasy, soiled pan until morning. Fold all your clothes rather than leaving some of them for later. Clean the entire room. Pay all of the bills. Run the full 3 miles you planned to run.
- Are you a procrastinator? Procrastination, pushing ahead a task, can also happen once you have started working on something. We tend to push it ahead because we don’t like the task or we feel it can be done later on, or feel confused, or bored to work on it. Thus we always end up working on it at the last moment and are often unable to finish it. Plus, it stays on our mind all throughout, because we know that we have to come back to it sooner or later. The earlier you finish it the faster it will be out of your sight and mind. Sometimes we also push away a task because we want to do it perfectly and not make any mistake. However this need can hamper our progress rather than help us reach our goals.
- Visualize the finish line– Imagine yourself starting the tasks, taking them to completion, and the satisfaction you get after the accomplishment. The power of visualization acts as a powerful motivator. Reward yourself for completing the task, however small it may be.
Being a finisher is a habit as well as skill. Hone your skill and keep practicing it. Wish you all the best!