Firm Up Unfinished Projects
Have you heard of anyone who after undergoing a surgical procedure, needed another urgent surgery because the surgeon left something undone?
A report published in the Journal of American College of Surgeons revealed that one in every 5,500 surgeries end up with these kinds of mishap. I’m privy to a number of such stories and without going into details, I can already tell you they were not pleasant experiences. During a conversation about one of those cases with my friend – who is a Medical Doctor, he said incidences like unfinished surgical procedures including leaving surgical materials inside a patient can cause severe harm, beyond pain and suffering. “It could lead to readmission, additional surgeries, abscesses, intestinal fistulas, obstructions, visceral perforations and even death.” While I actually didn’t understand some of the terms used, it is scary enough to know that it can lead to death.
Though they might not be as life-threatening as an unfinished surgical procedure, the adverse effect unfinished tasks or unresolved issues can have on an entire project, a career or your life should not be underestimated. These unfinished assignments are loose ends which could undo all the other accomplishments you might have recorded.
Let me make it a bit more graphic. Have you ever tried knitting before? What happens when you don’t complete a knot and leave the end of the yarn loose? You might lose the whole weave and have to start again if you carelessly pull that loose yarn. Do you get it now?
Sadly, a lot of people live their lives this way. In fact, one of the key sources of life’s friction and stress points for many people are loose ends. Often these seemingly small and ignoble slips cause big distractions as they impede your personal effectiveness and prevent you from being productive or getting your work done. Eventually, the achievements of your goals and visions are affected.
I want to encourage you today, take a moment to reflect and ask yourself; “What loose ends do I have in my life and career? What tasks am I leaving unfinished that could be affecting my productivity? You’ll need to deal with them and here are 3 tips to help you:
- Quit Procrastinating
Edward Young said, “Procrastination is the greatest thief of time”. One way to deal with loose ends is to have the do-It-now approach to work. If it is a small task that will only take a few minutes, then do it immediately. That way, you will be able to cross it off your to-do list and get back to other important work. It will help you to focus more on other tasks knowing that your mind is free from one assignment.
- Cut The Cord
Truth is, some loose ends are better cut off. You might want to ask yourself “Is this task, activity or engagement truly adding to my productivity? Is it increasing the value I offer my organization or others around me? If not, then cut it off and face more important activities. Some miscellaneous tasks are better removed from your to-do list. Your priority always should be to engage yourself in activities that add value to you and put you in a position to do better.
- Delegate It
Sometimes you need help with a loose end especially when someone else is better suited to the task. Whether at work or home, such tasks are better delegated. In the words of John C. Maxwell, “If something can be done 80% as well by someone else, delegate!” Until you do, you will still be stressing about them being in limbo.
Friend, what loose ends do you have to tie up today? Like I always say, it doesn’t have to be perfect before you get started. Just ensure you see it through to completion!
Remember, You Have Only One Life to Live. MAKE IT COUNT!