Finish the Task
Thoughts create actions, actions create habits, habits create destiny – Aristotle
Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best. – Theodore Isaac Rubin
An average person who develops the habit of setting clear priorities and getting important tasks completed quickly will run circles around a genius who talks a lot and makes wonderful plans but gets very little done. – Brian Tracy
Every day, my daddy told me the same thing. ‘Once a task is just begun, never leave it till it’s done. Be the labour great or small, do it well or not at all.’ – Quincy Jones
Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. – William James
Always render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be. – Og Mandino
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/task-quotes
More often than not we start on multiple tasks and do not complete them. If we do complete them it’s more or less a rushed finish that ruins our earlier efforts. We have heard of white elephant projects. These are projects that started and never got to completion.
We are not perfect but we need to aim to be excellent in what we do. Start well and finish well should be our mantra in life. The most accomplished individuals know this. There is no need starting a project or task if we know we are not going to complete it.
This only hurts our reputation in the long run. So be sure you are committed to completing what you start.
Wonders of the World
There are many wonderful architectural masterpieces, scientific works, artistic works that would not exist if their creators had not stuck to the task at hand.
We would not have the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, the Burj Hotel, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Mona Lisa, the aeroplane, the Train, the Car and other modern marvels if the creators and owners of these works had not committed to getting them out to the world.
Completing projects is very critical. If our scientists had not committed to producing the polio, small pox, TB vaccines we would still have mass fatalities all over the world. All our modern-day comforts we take for granted came through the efforts of inventors and scientists taking the risk and time to complete their inventions and ship them to the market.
The key is to always aim for completion in what you undertake
How do we complete what we start?
To ensure you finish what you start –
1. Set realistic Goals
There is a reason we are always warned not to bite off more than we can chew. Aim for the sky but always start small. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
Always assess the complexity of your goals. If you do not have the skills to carry out some tasks delegate these tasks. If you do not have the resources look at bringing in partners who have the capacity to accomplish the tasks.
We always need to be realistic before we commit our time and energy to accomplish certain tasks. The key message is to set realistic goals.
2. Shore up your inner confidence
When we achieve and knock off our tasks, our confidence grows. That’s why it’s paramount to always set out to complete what you start. You gain confidence in your ability to accomplish more.
There is a reason why martial arts and all schools have grading systems. They don’t allow you to proceed to the next level without mastering the current level. If you are a martial artist that jumps one level to the other you will get punished immediately at the next level.
Gain competence in one area before you jump over to the next area. This is the core apex of life
Stay focused on your race, stay in your lane. Do what you do best, finish what you do best. Leave the rest for others. The reason why we do not complete most of our great endeavors is that we are not focused on our own goals.
The ‘Shiny Object’ Syndrome affects most of us. We are always drawn to new shining objects and jump from one project to the other. Master your area first before you jump to another area. We become a jack of all trades and a master of none.
Most of our abject failures in life come about when we fail to master our individual areas first. Complete the tasks in our areas first before we jump over to other areas.
4. Prioritize Tasks
This is related to focus always prioritize your key tasks first. Start with high value tasks first before you tackle low end tasks. What delivers the bacon in the short and long term, that should be your highest priority for the day first.
Knock off those key activities first. After completion of priority tasks, you can focus on the low-end tasks.
5. Have a strong compelling why
We normally complete and accomplish what we are truly passionate about. We need to have a strong why, mission and driving values as a foundation bedrock
Parental love is a strong driving force that compels parents to move heaven and earth to accomplish tasks that benefit their children’s lives.
Sheer discipline and will to accomplish tasks is mandatory. The disciplined will always rule over the undisciplined. This is a fact of life. The willingness to accomplish the unpleasant tasks first, the must do tasks differentiates the successful from the unsuccessful.
We need to develop the rock discipline and grit to complete the necessary tasks and ignore the trivial tasks. Study the most successful individuals and you will usually find they are the most disciplined individuals in any society.
The disciplined stick to their promises no matter what. Have the courage to lead a disciplined and focused life and the rewards will be fulfilling.
Examples of truly successful institutions/organizations /individuals
1. Religious Institutions
The longest serving bodies in the world are religious institutions or bodies? There is a reason why? Catholic, Islamic and Buddhist orders have survived for millennia while modern institutions keep falling by the way.
They are principle-based institutions that are unwavering in their rock discipline and unwavering commitment to their principles and values.
Parents when left with choices will always choose faith-based schools over public schools. The reason is always tied to the principles of faith-based schools. Their guiding morals and precepts emphasize order and discipline.
Mission and Focus
Empires, nations have come and gone but they will not outlast these religious institutions. Their foundational rocks are solid.
They get things done and completed. Religious bodies are focused on serving society’s spiritual and physical needs. They serve the common good. They never deviate from this mission come rain or shine. You know what to expect when you enter a church or mosque. They live by set rules and codified standards that have withstood the test of time.
Complete what you start is repeatedly emphasized. You do not get abandoned projects in these organizations.
2. The Military
Another institution that thrives on rock solid discipline is the military. The undisciplined and unprepared die in war. The most disciplined armies are the most effective armies in the world. All great empires have been won on the pillar of great discipline.
You have to get things done to succeed in the military. You have to succeed in your objectives. Genghis Khan one of the greatest generals and most ruthless rulers the world has ever seen simply said it ‘Finish what you start’
There are daring missions and campaigns that armies have set off to achieve. They could only achieve their targets on a bed of rock-solid discipline. Read about history’s several military campaigns the most disciplined armies usually had the upper hand in war fare.
The Spartans are still remembered but what set them apart from other soldiers was their solid discipline and their ethos of getting things done.
Mission and Focus
Militaries thrive on mission and deadly focus. It is all about the mission in the military. Clear and unambiguous targets are set. The soldiers are then told why they must attain the objectives.
Mission and objective setting is paramount in the military. Logistics operations in the military usually set the standards that are adopted by civilians in the private sector. It’s a harsh environment and it’s only excellence that will do in such an environment.
3. Great Organizations
In his seminal book Good to Great Jim Collins dedicates a whole chapter to the Culture of Discipline.
This statement out of that book can summarize this article
‘Throughout our research, we were struck by the continual use of words like disciplined, rigorous, dogged, determined, diligent, precise, fastidious, systematic, methodical, workmanlike, demanding, consistent, focused, accountable, and responsible.
They peppered articles, interviews, and source materials on the good-to-great companies, and were strikingly absent from the materials on the direct comparison companies. People in the good-to-great companies became somewhat extreme in the fulfillment of their responsibilities, bordering in some cases on fanaticism.’
Name any great organization they get things done and completed. Projects get completed and promises are kept.
Organizations such as Toyota, Amazon, Google, Walmart, Coca-Cola, Proctor and Gamble, General Electric are all reknown for execution.
They are prolific in nature and execute accordingly
The greatest scientists like Thomas Edson, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton were all about execution and completing tasks. Great painters such as Van Gogh, Picasso, Leonardo Da Vinci were prodigious they produced work after work.
The greatest athletes showed up each and every day for practice. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, the greatest long-distance runners from East Africa. They delivered day after day and completed their tasks.
In general winners complete their tasks. They know its only execution that gets the job done. Strive to always complete what you started.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity – David Allen
Your Focus Formula: How to Successfully Stay on Task, Finish Projects and Achieve Your Goals – Diana Fitts
To-Do List Formula: A Stress-Free Guide To Creating To-Do Lists That Work! – Damon Zaharaides