In one way or another all of EDSI’s programs deal with the ability to complete what you have started. This could be related to professional presence, personal effectiveness, or performance management, but they all touch on making sure you are able to consistently follow through on your commitments. We don’t usually think about this, but there are concrete steps to completing the projects you have started, which will lead to completing your career and personal goals, and helping you create your ideal career!
Read and internalize these steps. Believe us, they have worked for thousands of our program participants over the years, and we’re confident that they’ll work for you, too.
- The 5 C’s of Completing Anything
If you don’t have a very clear idea of what you are doing and why, then your project is unlikely to be completed, at least not to your satisfaction. The famous Covey example comes to mind here. If you are leaning your ladder against the wrong building, it doesn’t matter if you climb fast, you’re still going to the wrong place. This is the same as when you are lost and start to drive faster. Of course, you’ll only get more lost, more quickly! Without clarity, starting, following through (and most of all) completing anything at all will be drudgery.
Clarity is knowing generally what needs to be done, whereas concreteness is knowing specifically what needs to be done. What are the exact steps needed to get this done? Many people shy away from this step, because they’re concerned that once they acknowledge all the steps, the project will just become overwhelming, and seem less likely to succeed. Not so! If you have all the steps in mind, you are free to start on some part of your challenge, every day. A to-do list also will keep you going on those days when your energy is waning. You can just go to the list and at least do SOMETHING to help you accomplish your goal, even if you are having a tough week.
Concreteness is the tie that binds your clarity and concreteness together. It is what gives you the ability to move ahead. Let’s face it, without resolve, you’re not likely to get to the end of your project with a satisfying result.
Do you fill your to-do list with lack of commitment? Seriously, we all do, at one time or another. You may be filling your daily list with things you should do. The successful list includes only those things that you are truly committed to accomplishing. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure, and starting tomorrow with a sense of feeling behind.
Do you flit around from email to website to project? Does your morning fly by and you wonder what you’ve been doing for the last four hours? Most people around you are doing the same thing. Here is your chance to rise above the fray. Learn to “batch” your day. Commit to concentrating on one project for 45 -90 minutes at a time, and don’t let yourself check email or answer a phone call. It will drastically impact your personal effectiveness, both at work and home.
Remember, when you have clarity surrounding your goals, every single thing you do is getting you closer to your destination. So celebrate! This will give you the energy and boost you need to address tomorrow’s work with the same clarity, concreteness, commitment, and concentration that you did today!
Finally, what do you need to quit?
This is not part of the 5 Cs of completion, but choosing NOT to do something means that you are putting more energy behind the work and the service to others that is really yours to do. It’s okay to quit something that you shouldn’t have been spending time on in the first place. It may be an indicator of your increased clarity. Some things just fall off the list naturally when you are focused on the work you really want and need to do.