Connect with us

Success Advice

5 Simple Tips to Help You Finish What You Start

Avatar

Published

on

tips on how to finish what you start

There is one strategy that can, above all others, help you to be more successful. Some people adopt this strategy early, for others it is learned as they go through life. But the people who never learn it don’t become successful at all.

If you were to look at a cross-section of young adults, you could tell, by how well they were integrating the strategy into their lives, which ones would go on to become highly successful, which would lead average lives, and which would struggle just to make ends meet.

This strategy is to finish what you start. Some call it grit or tenacity or stick-to-it-iveness. But calling it by those names makes it seem like it is a trait that you either have or don’t, and not like a skill that you can develop.

Even if you are not already good at finishing what you start, you can learn. Here are five tips to help you toward completing your tasks:

1. Don’t worry if you didn’t exhibit this trait as a child

The 1972 Stanford marshmallow experiment tested children on their ability to delay gratification by choosing to eat one marshmallow now, or waiting and being rewarded with two marshmallows later. Follow up studies showed that the children who were able to delay gratification were more successful in their school careers.

You might worry if you were not particularly good at delaying gratification when you were a child, “Am I doomed to have a mediocre life?” Children and teenagers need to try many things and gain lots of experiences. If they seem flighty, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will fail later in life. They may be learning a lot that will come in handy later.

It is in young adulthood or later that the skill of finishing what you start becomes so important. As you begin to get an idea of what is really important to you, you can start to focus more and actually make progress. So don’t worry if you have typically abandoned projects to date. It is never too late to learn to finish what you start.

 

2. Build up your ability to complete things

Each time you carry a task through to completion your “complete it” muscle becomes a little stronger. Practice with small tasks first. Start the task, stick to it, and complete it. Mark the completion in some manner like dusting off your hands or by crossing the item off your list. Let your brain know that now you are the type of person who completes tasks.

By practicing completing small tasks, even as short as ten minutes in duration, you are building your “complete it” muscle. And the stronger that it gets, the longer you are able to stick with a task to complete it. Become the type of person who can complete small tasks, and soon you will become the type of person who completes large projects.

“Whatever it takes to finish things, finish. You will learn more from a glorious failure than you ever will from something you never finished.” – Neil Gaiman

3. Break large projects down into smaller tasks

As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Most major projects can’t be completed in a day, or even a week. Break large projects down into small tasks, so that you can continue to complete tasks on a daily basis. If you haven’t built up your “complete it” muscle enough yet, break the task down even further, so that you can complete things on an hourly basis. Or, if that is still too difficult, look for a task that you can complete in just ten minutes.

You will be surprised at what you can accomplish in evenings after work if you set yourself small tasks that you complete. The small tasks will add up, until you eventually have a completed project.

If you look at highly successful people you will see that their lives are made up of a succession of completed projects. And those projects were made up of a string of completed tasks.

 

4. Don’t try to multitask

One problem that affects many people is trying to multitask. When you split your attention between two activities you don’t do either one justice. You will just find yourself jumping from one to the other, wasting time as you try to pick up where you left off.

Instead, focus on one task at a time. When you bring that task to completion, you can let it out of your mind. You will no longer be stressed trying to remember to get that task done, while working on another task.

It helps to write down your tasks so that you can focus clearly on one at a time. Otherwise you waste a lot of brainpower remembering the list of what needs to be done next. Focus on the one task and get it done.

“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” -Confucius, Philosopher

5. Set goals, but be flexible

It is important to work on projects that take you towards your ultimate dreams. Make a goal that is small enough to be achievable, but takes you in the right direction. If you get started on your goal, then realize that it is beyond your current abilities, don’t give it up! Instead, find a smaller scope that you can complete successfully.

You may well find that the projects you complete don’t lead in a straight line to anything in particular. Perhaps your interests take you one way, and then another. Don’t despair. You will eventually find a way to bring together your disparate interests to create something that is uniquely you.

Occasionally there may be times when it is better to change course rather than finish something that you started. For example, Mark Zuckerberg quit college to build Facebook. If you have a real opportunity to make forward progress, it is okay to switch tracks and not complete your original activity.

Just be sure that you do complete something. Don’t allow yourself to jump from goal to goal without anything to show for it. When in doubt, stay the course. Once you understand how important it is to complete projects, you will start to build your string of completed projects. You will choose projects that interest you, and gradually build toward a highly successful life that has great meaning to you.

What tips would you add that will help people complete projects? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Susan de Jong is an app entrepreneur who loves to write software. Her apps include Lucidate, a brainstorming app that helps you explore your innermost thoughts, and Insight Personality Tests, a fun and motivational app. Download the apps today for free.

Advertisement
2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Chris Targett

    Jul 9, 2016 at 10:05 am

    My favourite point is breaking the goal down, and then break it down again if you still can’t get round to completing it.

    Multi tasking as well- we have got to learn to focus on one thing at a time until completion.

  2. Avatar

    Thea Dunlap

    Jul 5, 2016 at 3:12 am

    These are great tips that you’ve share. Thanks for this it really made my day 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success Advice

5 Smart Goals to Make This Year Your Most Successful Ever

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

Setting goals at the start of the year means you will know exactly what you need to do throughout the year to be successful. By setting goals, it forces you to build a plan about how you intend to achieve those goals. By having a plan in place, you will wake up every morning with a clear idea of what it is you need to do each day. Just by writing down your goals, there is a 42% greater chance you will achieve those goals than if they just stayed in your head. It may seem like a small thing but actually creating goals every year and then writing them down significantly improves your chances of success. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

7 Ways to Face Adversity Using the Power of Extreme Ownership

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

Adversity is an inevitable part of our lives, and it is an important and defining factor of our personal story. The stories we build for ourselves in the face of adversity will either empower or discourage us emotionally, help us move forward or remain stuck in the past, allow us to grow or to decline. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

Why Your Confidence Needs to Match Your Competence

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

Even if you produce amazing results at your job or in other areas of your life, others may still not see you as being competent if you lack the confidence to back it up. If you are good at your job, exuding confidence will ensure others also recognize your competence in your area of expertise. And research backs this up. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

5 Things You Can Learn From The 5am Club by Robin Sharma

Avatar

Published

on

It has been said by Robin Sharma, “5 AM is the time of least distraction, highest human glory, and greatest peace.” This also happens to be the central idea or the core value he has discussed in his book, ‘The 5 Am Club.’ Speaking of early mornings, at what time do you wake up? Are you annoyed by the fact that you wake up on the edge of time and then rush to work in haste? 

The life lessons put forth by The 5 AM Club are exactly the learning and motivation you need to challenge your complacency. In your race against time, you may not have the time to read this fabulous book. So, we have summed up the key book’s takeaways for your convenience.

1. The vigor of waking up early

This is what the book’s most fundamental advice to everyone is. Waking up at 5 am every day can work wonders to avert failures and make success a natural habit. When we wake up at 5 am, we have more time on our hands than others. Besides, this is when we have minimum interruptions and maximum powerfulness of the mind. 

To add, the early morning peace is priceless! You can schedule your most important tasks of the day between 5am, and 8am. This book teaches us in the simplest way, how we can train our mind and strengthen it to deliver the highest productivity by waking up early. This energy that you have when you wake up in the morning and the few additional hours in your day are what serve as perfect ingredients for success.

“The secret to productivity is simplicity.” – Robin Sharma

2. The power of finding the right balance in life

The book talks about a precious lesson of finding the right balance within. We often talk about the need for mindfulness and achieving the right mindset to perceive things. But this book goes a few steps ahead of our usual approach to life. It highlights the vitality of mindset and introduces the concepts of heartset, healthset, and soulset.

These terms may seem new, but they are self-explanatory. The idea of heartset endorses the essentialness of emotional stability and well-being. Next, the perspective of healthset indicates the need to look after physical health. At last, soulset is an attribute of spirituality. As explained in this book, success prospects can be enhanced big time by achieving the right balance between these internal virtues.

3. The iconic 20/20/20 modus operandi

What is the first thing you will do if you start waking up at 5 am every day? Did you ever spare a thought about it? This book has the answer to this question, and you will be convinced that it is a great way to begin your day!. The author suggests that you should split the first hour of the day into three equal parts of 20 minutes each.

In the first 20 minutes of the day, you should prioritize your physical fitness and exercise. In the next 20 minutes, you should energize your soul and spirit via self-reflection and soulful meditation. This will prepare you for the rest of the day and will enable you to bolster your commitment and focus. In the last 20 minutes of the first hour, you should read and learn. But what are you going to read about in those 20 minutes? Read about successful people and their inspiring journeys to the pinnacle of success.

4. The significance of a proper sleep schedule

In this book, there is a mention of ‘a ferocious global sleep recession’, which is intriguing and enlightening. It hints at the state of sleep deprivation that this world is sinking into gradually. We often associate success and hard work with the notion of staying up all night and testing our endurance beyond limits. But that is not the right approach to accomplishing success, or rather, it is a flawed methodology.

Sometimes even if we do not have any critical work, we keep whiling our night time on social media or television. What are we gaining from it is the real question, and I am afraid the answer is nothing! We learn from this book that it is critical to look after your sleep cycle and start your day at 5 am afresh. Sleep and rest are indispensable for mental and physical well-being, or your productivity will decline.

“If you want to have the results only 5% have, you must be willing to do and think like only 5% do and think.” – Robin Sharma

5. The art of evolving

The book sheds light on the need to be spiritual and master self-reflection. However, do you realize the purpose that the routine of reflection each morning serves? The idea is to keep learning, keep reflecting on the mistakes and keep evolution an ongoing process. You should evolve every day and strive to be a better version of yourself every day. So, one of your primary goals after waking up should be to reflect on your actions and missed opportunities of the previous day.

To recapitulate, The 5 AM Club is a must-read book if you are a passionate reader. It has the prowess and charm to refurbish your perception of life altogether. Even if you cannot read the book for some reason, make sure you incorporate the above key takeaways into your life. By starting your day at 5 am, you can rediscover your lost soul and enthusiasm, and you would not have complaints to make about the lack of time. If you can own your mornings, you can go places on the ladder of success, for excuses are only for those who are not committed to their goals.

Continue Reading

Trending