Three Strategies For Finishing What You Start

Do you feel like you have a never-ending to-do list? It may be time to look at the habits that are holding you back. It's only natural to forget things, get distracted or take on too much. When this happens, we often feel frustrated that we aren't able to finish what we start.

Greg Eisen, a founding member of the Entrepreneurs' Organization, says it's important to consider the main culprits behind uncompleted tasks. We share Eisen's thoughts on these culprits and how to overcome them in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. The mystery of multitasking. Eisen calls multitasking a mystery because it has snuck into our daily lives and convinced us it is a good thing, when really it's a colossal waste of time. Our lives have become so busy that we think multitasking is the only way to get things done. We chase the bouncing ball moving from emailing, to texting, to working on a project, to looking up plane tickets or a new restaurant you've been meaning to try and before you know it, you've drained your energy on 12 little activities, ultimately not finishing any one task. Be mindful of how often you switch tasks during your work day and use your willpower (or a helpful tool like the Pomodoro Method) to keep your attention tied to one thing at a time.

2. The busted brain. Your brain doesn't just house your cognitive function; it is also responsible for driving you towards or further away from your goals. You may be unconsciously listening to the negative thoughts or chatter running through your brain, which affects your ability to focus and execute. If you think that could be the case, try making a list of the reasons you don't want to complete something and a second list of every reason you do. Having negative thoughts on a piece of paper gives them less power over your brain. When you aren't ruminating on negative thoughts, your brain is free to pursue goals that promise useful, valuable rewards and outcomes, says Eisen.

3. The big dream. Many things we start and aspire to finish are tied to our big dreams. These can be things such as earning a six-figure salary, running a marathon, losing 10 pounds, paying off debt or purchasing a vacation home. These are all incredible and worthy dreams, but the problem is they are entirely too vague to incite proper action. When you find yourself identifying a big dream, Eisen recommends listing all the steps needed to achieve that dream, then breaking those steps down further into even more steps, creating a series of tasks that can be easily completed and marked off. Committing to a goal requires hyper-specificity and detailed step-by-step planning. When you've spent time on the front-end planning, you end up with a clear roadmap for your desired outcome.

At the end of your week or month, don't look back and wish you had accomplished a goal or task. Identify the roadblocks above and take steps to overcome them.
Source: Greg Eisen is an Entrepreneurs' Organization member in Connecticut where he was a founding member of the chapter and served as its president.

filed under August 2019
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