THE BLOG

The Impact of 'Incompletes'

17/12/2014 01:40 | Updated 15 February 2015

Ah, it's that tax return time of year, rolling round once more. Hands up if you have been studiously avoiding completing your accounts and submitting your return?

Thought so, this is the time of year where there is so much to do, so little time to do it within. The time of year where we can all easily become professional procrastinators.

What else needs doing that you have been avoiding? What has been on the list for ages, getting transferred from one list to another?

I would like to introduce you to those things which I call Incompletes:

Incompletes are energy suckers. An incomplete is any task or activity that has been on your list for ages, that is buzzing around like a pesky fly, taking your attention, a task you never quite get done. You know you need to do it but it is boring, scary and tedious; so you try to avoid it.

So why do the Incompletes matter? Why can't you just ignore them?

The trouble is, what we resist, persists. Each incomplete holds a little bit of your energy and creativity to ransom, sucking energy from the big, important and exciting tasks that are going to help make you and your business successful.

So I'm going to tell you what you can do about them!

First, you need to make a list of what they are, and get specific. See anything that takes more than three minutes as a project. And, if it is a project, just write down the very next thing that needs doing. If one of my clients knows they need to create a file to record all their invoices for example, the first action might be to buy and name the file. Tomorrow we might print out last week's invoices. Break it down.

Secondly, set some times and dates by these actions. Can you put aside one hour per week to tackle 'boring bureaucracy'? What are you willing to commit to? Once your mind knows when these things are going to get done, it will stop hustling and reminding you over and over again.

Third, make it fun. Remember, Mary Poppins taught us that 'just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down'?

Find a way to make the task enjoyable. Put on the right music and get into the groove of your incomplete. Find a friend to cheer you on or buddy up to do your taxes and tasks at the same time. Best of all, get grateful - how lucky are you to be able to pay your bills, organise a trip or be able to study. Write down five things that an incomplete helps you to be grateful for. If I need to write a personal letter to a client or friend, I can feel grateful for Royal Mail, for lovely ink and paper, for the chance to express my feelings without fear of social reprisal, gratitude for my hands, my mind and my connection with others. This puts you in a different space to get started.

Get out a pen. Some paper. Scribble down those incompletes. Make a start! Go you!