I’m doing dishes. My tendency is to leave just a few things unwashed.
I’m reading a book. Then I leave that one and start another one, never finishing the first.
I’m writing a blog post. I have 45 posts in draft form right now.
In fact, I just looked over and realized that I had just started to sweep the floor when I decided this was actually the best time to start writing this post. So I left this:
It’s one of those things about myself that drives me crazy! It’s really only in the last couple of years that I identified this problem. And that’s a good place to start in moving towards a solution, isn’t it?
I think the underlying problems are: distraction, procrastination, and lack of self-discipline. Oh My!
5 Tips to help me finish a task:
1. Visualize the completed task and persevere to the end! I did this last night with the dishes. There were just a few things left. They needed to be hand washed. I thought about how much nicer the counter and sink would look if I just pushed through and finished those last few things. I did it!
2. Reward myself for finishing a task. Instead of having a snack in the middle of a task, wait until it is finished. I’ll tell ya, I seem to get so hungry as soon as I start working on a task I don’t enjoy! Chocolate should be involved here.
3. Break up large projects into smaller tasks. This is hard for me because I seem to like BIG projects, but I think it will help. Using a timer is one way I do this that works.
4. Turn off distractions. The computer is a HUGE distraction for me. It’s also a fantastic resource. So let’s say I’m organizing the pantry. I might stop after just getting started so that I can look up articles and pictures showing the best way to organize the pantry. One hour later (with checking email and helping small children along the way), nothing is done! I’ve known for a long time that I need to turn the computer off sometimes, but now it’s time for action!
5. Keep a list. When I’m working on a task, if I think about another task that I need to do, I will write it down on a list instead of switching tasks. That way I don’t have to worry about forgetting the 5 other tasks that pop into my head while I’m trying to sweep the floor.
And now I’m off to finish sweeping the floor!
Finish what you start (I’m an Organizing Junkie) This really resonated with me when I read it. And if you struggle with feeling like you work all day and get nothing accomplished, you must see the video she has in this post.
Do you struggle with finishing what you start?