Many times we make to do lists that have an item or two that seem to appear on every list that we sit down to write. That expense report that needs to be done, or person we’ve been needing to call follows us from list to list like our very own shadow. Days, even months pass by where each time you write your list, you sigh and shake your head, because you know it needs to be done but you haven’t done it. Or that piece of unfinished business is bigger. Much bigger. It’s that dream of yours that sitting on the shelf collecting dust. We keep saying things like, “One of these days…when I have time, I’m gonna finish writing my book.” Or when <insert your go-to excuse> happens or gets done, then I’ll <insert the action you’ll take with your dream that’s sitting on the shelf>.
The reality is that this unfinished business and art of procrastination that we can so quickly master is slowly infecting every area of our lives and putting our individual legacies at risk. When we don’t do the things that need to be done, when we procrastinate: these items take up precious space in our minds, drain our energy, and in fact make us feel worse about ourselves whilst paralyzing us from moving forward in multiple areas of our lives. But today’s post isn’t about stressing the negative effects we experience from our unfinished business, it’s about helping you to TAKE ACTION and get this stuff handled once and for all.
3 Strategies to help you finish your unfinished business ASAP
#1 Eat that Frog
Brian Tracy, one of the leading authorities on personal effectiveness, encourages folks to “eat that frog.” Meaning you should devour that big hairy scary item that’s been following you around…it’s time to handle it first. As in first thing in the morning. Before you do anything else, before you check your email, before you hop on social media, before you even go to work, you must take action towards that thing you’ve been neglecting to do. Get it done once and for all. Or make significant progress so the next day you can make a little progress, and the next day a little more, until it’s finished. Done.
#2 Don’t try to get it done, just do it
I had to learn this the hard way. When we say, “I’ll try to… <insert whatever your need to do and> get it done.” You’re ultimately giving yourself permission to fail. You’ve got an out when you say the word try. The brain actually processes this command differently than if you were to say, “I’m going to do <insert whatever you need to do>.” Nike nailed it when they said, “Just do it.” Would you get all juiced up and motivated to take action if Nike’s tagline was “Just try it.” Probably not. Eliminate the word “try” from your vocabulary and watch your productivity soar; especially with your unfinished business.
#3 If you really can’t do it, get help
There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting help. Especially with your unfinished business. One of the BEST decisions I made a little over two years ago was to hire a housekeeper. I spent so much time and emotional energy trying to be superwoman and do EVERYTHING. I even shamed myself into thinking something was wrong with me if I couldn’t work full-time, have a business on the side, nurture a new marriage and keep my house in order. Trying to get things done with that basket of clothes that needed to be folded, and floors needing to be swept staring at me was the worst. I won’t digress on how this effected my mood, or even my love life…but the point is I needed help, so I got it. (more…)