All the Way Through to Completion
We all recognize those moments when we “complete” something and know that we didn’t really make it to the finish line with the process. We call it good enough. But some part of us knows we have only put in half an effort. We put a dirty glass on the counter and it never makes its way to the dishwasher (in my case, to the sink, as I am the dishwasher). Or, we respond to an email and agree to do something but then we just don’t get to it. Or, we lay something down, but don’t quite have the energy to put it back where it lives.
I would call these the almost completes. They make it close to the finish line but not across it.
Well my Weekly Reviews of late (since the PC to Mac transfer) have been in the category of the almost completes. I told myself that since I just moved all my tasks over one-by-one that it was the same as doing a Weekly Review, but that was a while ago. I review the calendar and actions lists pretty regularly but not all the folders (email and desk). I am sure some of you can relate. I might call it the Executive Scan Weekly Review.
Yesterday I decided to call myself on my not-quite-across the finish line behavior and do a very thorough Weekly Review. Emptying my Sent Items folder was an eye-opener. Loose ends are not my style but there were a number of them. My Action Support folder was mostly current but the other folders had old stuff to toss.
It may seem like a little thing but in reality those unlooked at papers, emails, etc. are keeping us from our vitality and our creativity. Doing things all the way through when we feel tired can actually energize us.
I felt like I had been shot out of a canon when I finished (which took a few hours and did include a few tasks, I will admit). I felt exhilarated as I touched everything in and around my desk, cleaned up outdated information in files and on my Mac, honestly addressed what was not moving forward and questioned the alignment. No stone left unturned in this Weekly Review. I was vigilant. And a few times when I wanted to quit, thinking this is tiring, I kept going and the energy was right there with each completion.
Once again it was so clear to me that anything I have not looked at once a week is draining my attention as an incomplete I am unwilling to address. We all know that broken agreements cause irritability, lack of clarity, fatigue, lower enthusiasm and self-esteem. Think of a time you agreed to do something for someone and didn’t. There isn’t ever a good feeling about that.
But when we renegotiate all those agreements with ourselves and others in the form of that Weekly Review we instantly feel renewed.
If we are willing to go all the way through to completion, the clarity that emerges is palpable and there is a noticeable calm and relaxation that accompanies it. And while we may think we are too tired to undertake it, we discover that the tiredness is in fact related to the not finishing.
The all the way through to completion experience is unmistakable and ever so satisfying. That fresh look at everything renews the energy and enthusiasm that we can then harness, to do what we have been pretending is almost complete but what has been dragging us down.
After this exhilarating review I went to my own website, typed in the Celebrating Completion box—I DID IT. In this case the IT stands not so much for doing the review, but for having kept my agreement with myself. As I watched the video that popped up to celebrate me, I had tears in my eyes, as it just happened to be the one video, of the 11 that cycle through on my home page, that speaks of honoring ourselves for doing what we said we would.
There is nothing I know that is more important than honoring ourselves with doing what we say we will do all the way through to completion.
1. Dare to take one thing to completion that you imagine too difficult to tackle and experience the freedom that results.
2. Watch where you put things and see if it makes it to where it actually lives.
3. Appreciate yourself when you do something all the way through to completion. And let me celebrate you. The celebrating videos will soon be up on a You Tube channel as well as on my home page www.martharinger.com.
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