Hey, Wondering if anyone has any quick remedies for finishing tasks. I have a terrible habit of doing an NA or mini-project like writing a long email, polishing off a newsletter, website, or final version of a document and leaving it about 95% finished. My (atrocious) logic behind this is that I'll "remember" something important to put in the email or big document or something and didn't want to "send it off" (send it via email, print it, close the task) for fear of discovering one of those few last finishing touches. As a result, I have dozens of mini projects almost comletely finished but still "hovering in my mind" consuming psychological RAM.
Here are some solutions I thought of. Was curious if you had any more. Thanks!
- Imperfection is good. Focus on completion, finishing, and crossing the task off ("Getting it Done") as opposed to making it a sparkling diamond of perfection. This is not to say focus entirely on qualntity of completed tasks as opposed to quality, but rather emphasize getting the task off your list with the most efficient execution possible. Having a project sitting in Actionables for a month after it's 96% done only to add 2 or three minute finishing touces on it is NOT "efficient". Efficient completion is when a task project is so complete that it only needs 5-10 more minutes of work, to then just do that work and finish it!
- You can always put the new thoughts in a newer edition. Be it an email, newsletter, website, etc. Almost everything these days has a "second (or third or fourth or fifth version" to it. If you send your long, well-written email that has 5 sections in it, but then think of a sixth section. Don't fret. You can put that information in a follow-up email or just in a supplementary one. From web pages to "grocery lists" almost everything will be done again in some form or another so it's best to just get done what you have to clear that mental ram.
I think one of the major reasons I do this is
1. Wanting to make sure any last finishing touches are not lost if I think of them latter on. and
2. Most importantly, fear of what will "queue up" in my mind after this task/project is completed! This sounds utterly ridiculous but it psychologically and cognitively could be a huge contributing factor to why some people don't finish or start numerous important tasks. This is huge. I feel like I let these 95% finished projects "hover" because I know if I completely finish them, a new project or task will bubble up that I'll have to start from 0% finished. In a ridiculous way of thinking I'd rather have 5 95% finished projects in my mind than 5 0% finished projects. The solution to this is simple. The 5 new projects are moving forward in your life. Hovering around the 5 95% finished projects and not finishing those is holding you back. Whenever you allow almost-finished projects to "hover", consuming your cognitive capacity, you're holding yourself back in productivity, and most importantly in life. If there's some project you're avoiding then the NA on that is to discover if that project is congruent with your purpose and outcome and ways around your inhibitions toward it of to chuck it. Clogging yoru cognitive ram with almost-completely finished projects is NOT a solution to avoiding engaging a new project.