Finishing What You Start

Whether it’s a business project, a personal goal, or a simple household task, being in the habit of finishing what you start is very important and essential for anyone that wants to achieve success in their life and their career. Not only does it make your life a lot easier but it also ensures that others can count on you to complete tasks and projects that you undertake - hopefully in a timely and efficient manner.

Finishing what you start is a habit that you must cultivate if you want to be able to run your own business as a life coach and it’s one that will serve you in the long run. Unfortunately it’s something that a lot of people really struggle with. It’s usually not a conscious decision that they’re making - stopping halfway through a project and saying “Oh, I think I’ll quit this now and move on to something else, leaving this incomplete and unfinished.” Instead it’s usually something a lot more subtle, and beneath the surface that leads to this kind of behavior and many people may not even realize the cause of it, only seeing a string of unfinished  tasks without any real reason as to why they aren’t getting done.

Reasons People Don't Finish What They Start

There are lots of reasons that people may get in the habit of not completing things that they start. Some of these reasons are psychological, others are the result of poor habits or time management, but regardless of the reason (as they are all valid) it’s important to know that this kind of behavior is easy to fix and it won’t take long before you’re accomplishing all sorts of things and breezing through projects without any kind of delay.

One reason that many people struggle to finish projects is simply because of plain old procrastination. When you don’t want to do something it’s much harder to get it done and finished with - even though that means that you won’t have to do it anymore. Procrastination can stop even the most productive of people dead in their tracks. A lot of times it can be something environmental or with regards to your circumstances that may be stopping you from getting things done. Consider the following questions:

  • Are you feeling tired or ill?
  • Are there a lot of distractions wherever you’re working that are stopping you from being able to focus?
  • Do you have a million other tasks to do and a tendency to bounce around from one to the next?
  • Is something stressing you out, making it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand?

These are all common reasons that it may be difficult to get things done and if you’re working in the same environment again and again they may show up pretty often and prevent you from accomplishing what you need to in a timely manner.

Constant Interruption

Sometimes though it can be something to do with the project or task itself that is causing a hold up. For example if you have a lot to do and you find yourself constantly being interrupted to do laundry or dishes when what you really need to do is work on the new manual for your coaching sessions it can be really hard to get either of those things done because your time and energy is divided between them.

You know that you need to work on your manual but you can’t focus because the chores have to be done and you know the chores have to be done but you’re putting off doing them to work on your manual - see the problem? Nothing gets done and you end up going to be stressed and feeling unproductive because you didn’t complete either tasks that day. This is an instance when various productivity techniques need to be employed. A good one is to delegate - does it have to be you that does the laundry? If not then send it off to someone else that can take care of it, relieving you of having to worry about it.

Ask an older child to help out with the chores, pay a neighborhood kid that is looking to earn some extra money to do them, or ask a spouse to take over so that you can focus on other things you need to do. If it’s a regular distraction it may be worth hiring a maid to come in and take care of it a few times a week so that you can focus on more important things.

Or perhaps it has more to do with a project that you feel unprepared to work on. Do you have all the resources and tools you need to get your project done? Is there something lacking or an obstacle that you can’t seem to find a way around that’s preventing you from finishing it? Lots of times simply getting organized, having everything you need on hand and then just sitting down to do it can make all the difference.

Having things set out, prepared in advance, can take away some of the procrastination because it looks a lot easier to accomplish something if everything you need for it is just waiting there for you to get started. Set out any tools or items you need to accomplish tasks that you routinely procrastinate in advance so that you’ll have no excuse but to get right to work on whatever it is you’ve been avoiding.

Look at the Root Cause

While it’s important to be productive and efficient it’s also wise to be sure that there aren’t any other reasons you may be procrastinating doing certain work or certain projects. This is especially important to look at if you’re constantly leaving the same kinds of work unfinished. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is there any underlying reason for this behavior?
  • Is it a fear or a belief about yourself that you’ve been holding that may be making it hard for you to do certain kinds of work?
  • Or is there a bigger issue at hand?

Perhaps you’re not really enjoying the kind of work you do or you don’t feel that you have the skills to do it correctly or well enough. Do you need to break out into a new field, specialize somehow, or otherwise change your business to be more enjoyable to you? Or would it serve you to spend some time getting some more training, doing more research, or better preparing yourself to do the kind of work you’re doing?

Regardless of the reasons you struggle with finishing what you start it’s important to examine them so that you can prevent them from continuing to cause you problems. Once you’re aware of these motivations for your behavior, conscious or subconscious as they may be, you’ll be able to put a stop to them and soon you’ll be able to finish everything that you start without any problems or issues at all. Good luck!