Do you struggle to finish things?

Do you get something to about 90% done and then flitter off to do something else?

Do you have freebies that are nearly ready to promote, or webpages that are almost ok to publish, or blog posts that just need a little tweak and then they’ll be good to go?

I’m willing to bet you have!!

Most of us are much better at starting things than we are at finishing them – I know I am – big time!!!

In fact I’ve just had a couple of weeks where I have been so unfocused I’ve been doing little bits of all kinds of different things, flitting from one thing to another, without actually finishing any of them.

It’s one of my regular old patterns coming back, as they do from time to time, until I spot that I’m doing it, and make the decision to stop it and get refocused.

I know I’m not alone in this, I see it in my clients all the time, and that’s what prompted me to write this blog for you, in case you’re doing the same.

Because you see, there really isn’t any point at all in starting anything, and then leaving it 90% or even 99% done.

You might as well not have bothered starting it in the first place.

If you don’t finish a task or project, all the other work you did in starting it was a complete waste of time and effort

You won’t get any results, you won’t make any impact, and you won’t generate any income from it

There are no prizes for not finishing.

Just as an athlete cannot hope to win a medal if she doesn’t cross the finishing line in her race, you cannot hope to get results in your business if you don’t finish the stuff that needs to be done to achieve those results.

The free report that you wrote but haven’t got around to making available on your website is not building your list of subscribers.

The podcasts you recorded but haven’t yet uploaded to iTunes are not being heard by anyone.

The half written ideas for blog posts aren’t being read by anyone.

The On-line Coaching Programme you created but haven’t yet launched isn’t making you any money, and it’s not helping any clients.

I could go on – but you get the message I’m sure 🙂

[bctt tweet=”There are no prizes for not finishing.”]

So why do we do it, and more importantly, what can we do about it?

Sometimes it’s just that it’s so easy to get excited at the start of a project, like when you have a new idea for something. Maybe you watched a webinar, or saw someone else doing something on-line, and thought to yourself “oooh that would work really well for me too”.  A light bulb comes on and you get all fired up about it, and want to dive in and make it happen.

But then you get so far through and the excitement starts to wane as you realise the size of the task, when it dawns on you that your brilliant idea is actually going to take hours and hours of work to get it up and running. Or the techy bits prove to be not as simple as you thought, and you get stuck with them. Or you just get bored with it! (yep – I’m regularly guilty of that one)

Other times it feels like there is just one thing after another to do. There is always something else that needs your attention. You might be making great progress on one job, when you remember that your newsletter is due out, so you stop what you’re doing to get that done. You realise that you haven’t posted on Facebook for a day or two, so you take some time out to sort that out, and we all know what happens once we get onto there!!!

There are all kinds of other demands on your time, both business related and everything else in your life, that distract you, demand your time, and generally keep you from finishing.

And let’s not forget the ever present mind mischief. There are so many variations of it that come into play here that it would take a whole book to cover them all. What is common to them all, however, is that not finishing makes things worse. When you have unfinished stuff it’s always at the back of your mind, always nagging on at you, and that just makes the mind mischief worse.

So let’s start getting into the habit of finishing, and out of the habit of starting new things before you’ve finished the last thing 😉

What have you got hanging over you that is partly done?
Scribble all of those unfinished jobs down on a sheet of paper.

Which of them are “business critical” – ie things that really need to get done as opposed to things that you would like to do at some point?

If anything is not “business critical” right now, cross it off this list.

Create a second list (in fact if you’re anything like me, you might want to have a completely separate notebook for this) for ideas and things you want to look into, or do, in the future.
Add the items that are not “business critical” to this list/notebook. This will get it off your mind, but at the same time means that you won’t lose the idea all together.
As you have new ideas you can add them to this list/notebook to capture them, BUT you are not allowed to do anything with them until you have finished everything else.

Now, for the jobs that remain on your “business critical” list, think about what it’s going to take to finish them off.

What is still to do, and how long will it take you to do it?
If you need help from someone else to complete it, maybe someone who is better at techy stuff than you are, what do you need to do to organise that help and how long will it take you?

Grab your diary, or whichever calendar system you use, and book in 2 hour slots where you will work on completing these tasks, starting with the ones that are most important to your business, and closest to being finished.

During these 2 hour slots, do nothing but work on the job at hand. Switch off your phone, your emails, Facebook, Twitter, and anything else that could distract you. You’ll be amazed how much you can get through!

For the next few days or weeks, or even months if need be, focus on the last 1 – 10% to get what you have already started finished.

You will feel a lot better for finally getting it all done, and you will move your business forward far faster.

If you’re struggling to work out what you should be working on first, or want some accountability and support to help you get your stuff finished, come and join us in The Coaches Zone Facebook Group.