The art of finishing
What has wellbeing got to do with completing things you may wonder? They are perfectly related and here’s why. When people have a lot of things going on and pending, their minds tend to be full rather than clear and focussed. A busy mind is a stressed mind and this affects everything. When you start things but don’t complete them, your confidence is also affected. Confidence comes through a series of victories. Not completing things brings the opposite. Why don’t we complete things? Many of us start many things but don’t come complete them. Why? There are many reasons. We don’t’ have the support. We don’t have the other resources needed. We don’t have the know-how. We don’t have the habit. We don’t break things down to smaller achievable steps. We give up too easily. To complete things to the best of your ability and maintain your own wellbeing in the process, focus is required. When your head is ‘full of stuff’ it is hard to be clear on priorities and get things done. The most stressful time is always just before you make decisions. Regular procrastination generates a cycle of stress in your mind. Here are 12 things that will set you up to complete things on time and to the best of your ability. 1. Get enough sleep – apart from regular practice, the number one performance enhancement tool is sleep. 2. Be clear on your purpose / goal – when you know what you are doing and why, it is easier to concentrate. You are also more likely to keep the show on the road when difficulties arise. Remember the song – ‘when the going gets tough the tough get going…’. 3. Focus on what is important and or what you want. As the saying goes, ‘what you think about you bring about’. 4. Take action towards your goals daily. When we take action daily, there is no space for doubt or fear to grow. Action builds and reinforces motivation. 5. Develop a growth mindset. Reflect on what you do, what worked and what didn’t. Analyse, learn the lesson and apply the learning. This way we always benefit. We either grow or succeed. 6. Be decisive and present. Doubt and indecision create stress and erode confidence. You can only take action and make a difference in the now. 7. Practice chilling and meditation. Regular practice ensures a clear mind. Just as you go to the gym or exercise to make your physical muscles strong and healthy, regular meditation builds a strong, balanced and flexible mind. 8. Create positive habits for mind and body. When we have positive lifestyle habits (sleep, food, rest, positive thinking etc.), it is easy to be focused and present. Poor habits bring us out of balance and make it hard to concentrate. 9. Let go of negative thoughts. They are like wild horses. A negative mind is difficult to control and bounces from problem to problem. A positive mind is easy to direct and focus. Our heart and spirit are also more easily engaged when we think in a resourceful way enabling us to bring our ‘complete and best self’ to all that we do. 10. Stop procrastinating. Regularly putting things off creates a habit of putting things off which results in a pattern that becomes progressively harder to break. It also builds fear, anxiety and stress and affects confidence. 11. Avoid internal and external weapons of mass distraction. We think all sorts of thoughts that fill our heads with clutter. Observe the pattern of your busy auto pilot and change it to focus on what you value and what is important to you. 12. Have good boundaries with screens. How much time do you spend on screens or more significantly on your phone each day? The average smart phone user in Ireland picks up their phone 55 times a day. If you spend an average of one minute each time, that is costing you almost an hour. If more, it is more. If time is a factor in you completing things, this is a great way to gain time. Over half of Irish smartphone users believe they use their phone too much (2018). Too much time on our phones also harms our wellbeing as it puts us into “fight or flight” mode further affecting our ability to complete things on-time and in the best way. Taking these actions and winning the battle in your head will enable you to consistently practice the ‘art of finishing’.