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Don’t Just Sit There! Start Getting Those Tasks Done

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Content:

Introduction

The Unfinished Task Big Pain Carry

Gather Your Positive Feedback Loops

The Unfinished Task Negative Loop

Finished Tasks Create Positive Feedback

Your Finished Tasks Compound Your Achievements

Practical Steps to Go From Unfinished to Finished Tasks

Start With Small Tasks

Transfer Your Home Success to Work Success

Align Your Tasks With Your Priorities

Use Consistency to Meet the Big Task Challenge

Your Are The Key to Finishing Your Task

Conclusion

Don’t Just Sit There! Start Getting Those Tasks Done

Unfinished projects come in many forms. The catio for Fluffina where you went to the lumber yard and had all the wood cut, and now it’s months later and the wood is stacked outside under her favorite window. Or the memoir about growing up with an autistic sibling, and your brother is now a research scientist and your notes are still parked in a file somewhere on your computer. Or the beautiful ceramic brioche form that sits on an upper shelf in your kitchen—in the box—and you’ve yet to bake one loaf.

Unfinished projects are guilt trips that weigh on your psyche.

I’d like to share with you today my experiences and challenges in finishing tasks and projects. And how learning to finish tasks and projects, and bring things to a logical conclusion, is one of my cornerstones of success.

You may think that unfinished projects at home have nothing to do with success. But, they do.

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The Unfinished Task Big Pain Carry

Unfinished projects live inside you like secret but devastating pain. You carry that pain around at home and at work.
If you haven’t learned how to finish tasks and projects or bring them to a logical conclusion, you’re likely to face:
  1. Frustration – not accomplishing or fulfilling what you want
  2. Burnout – physical, mental, or emotional exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress
  3. Waste of time – meaningless or fruitless activity
  4. Financial loss – having less money than before
  5. Confidence and self-respect going downhill – inability to respect yourself or your abilities
  6. Other people’s respect – others not acknowledging your worth
Even one of these results can keep you from the mental state and activities that result in success.
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Gather Your Positive Feedback Loops

A feedback loop is a system that derives information from activities and then acts on the information. Originally a term from physical science, the term is now used in biology, computer science, psychology, software development, economics, and marketing.

Tech Target describes a feedback loop:

A feedback loop is the part of a system in which some portion (or all) of the system’s output is used as input for future operations. Each feedback loop has a minimum of four stages. During the first stage, input is created. During the second stage, input is captured and stored. During the third stage, input is analyzed and during the fourth stage, the insight gained from analysis is used to make decisions

In relation to achieving success, a feedback loop impacts how you react to what you did before. A poor feedback loop will keep you from feeling that you can accomplish a task, much less become successful. An example could be your feelings leading up to an important event. Anxiety or fear may negatively impact the event itself, whereas confidence may result in the opposite effect.
That anxiety you carry about unfinished tasks feeds into the next task you need to accomplish.

The Unfinished Task Negative Loop

A negative feedback loop decreases your function. Each unfinished task creates a negative feedback loop in your mind. That loop tells you that you don’t finish tasks. When the next task arrives, your brain is ready to tell you that you won’t finish that one either. And you probably won’t.

You may not think about the unfinished catio while you are at work, but your mind knows that unfinished task as negative feedback. When a task, completely different from the one at home, the catio, comes along, that negative loop tells you, “Here’s another one you won’t finish.”

The new task may have nothing to do with carpentry or construction skills. Your brain doesn’t care.

It sees it as a task—one you won’t finish. So when your task at work is to contact 50 new customers in a week, your brain’s message is this is just like the catio.

You’ll come up with “important things” you need to do before you pick up the phone to make the calls. You’ll write a whole new phone script. You’ll check out the leaderboard. But you won’t pick up the phone.

That’s how unfinished tasks impact your success.

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Finished Tasks Create Positive Feedback

You only receive the benefits of job done when you complete a positive feedback loop from a task or project when you finish it.
Those benefits are converse to the pain results of not finishing:

  1. A sense of completion.
  2. Enthusiasm for life, including work.
  3. Accomplishments each day.
  4. Financial gain.
  5. Self-confidence
  6. Growing respect from others
The profits and feedback from the completed task or project make the next one more successful
The positive feedback loop expands your experience. As you work through projects, you gain knowledge of the things you need to learn to take further steps. As you learn new skills, you build your positive feedback loop.

Your Finished Tasks Compound Your Achievements

When you develop the discipline and habit of finishing things, you’ll experience a surprising set of new accomplishments. You’ll meet your goals and objectives and achieve whatever you set out to accomplish.

The rewards of finished tasks create a new system feedback loop on how you approach tasks you used to think were impossible to finish. When you create your desired outcome of finishing, you’ll create the life aligned with your goals.

You’ll notice new outcomes around your finished projects:

  1. Receive better self-feedback of everything you do, so you know if it’s aligned with your greater goals
  2. You learn which things you should invest more focus on
  3. Better results come to you as your positive feedback loop is improving your consistent actions every week and month
  4. Gain self-confidence as you feel and notice the satisfaction of finishing things
  5. You are able to work more strategically and proactively to achieve your important long-term goals
Instead of feeling stuck, you’ll discover solutions that give you the power to manage tasks with ease.
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Practical Steps to Go From Unfinished to Finished Tasks

No one can make the change for you to go from unfinished to finished tasks. To experience the multiple rewards of finished tasks you need to commit to taking action steps. Otherwise, you end up with another unfinished project.

Start With Small Tasks

You want to train your brain to know that you do finish tasks. Every finished task counts, so start with small tasks you know you can finish in a short amount of time.

  • change the lightbulb
  • wash the dishes after each meal
  • change the hummingbird food every four days
  • make your bed in the morning
  • hammer down that nail that sticks up on the deck
  • pull weeds for five minutes
Once you start finishing small tasks, which I call micro-actions, give yourself some bigger tasks.
Here are some ideas:

  • vacuum one room
  • take out the rubbish bins before being asked
  • get your vehicle serviced
  • update the software on your computer
  • vacuum another room on a different day
  • meditate for five minutes in your morning routine
  • check the batteries in your fire alarm
  • take a 15-minute walk three days in a row
It’s up to you to create the micro-actions that fit best into your life. It doesn’t matter so much which you choose; it matters that you do them. Each one is a message to your brain that you can finish a task.
Look around each area of your home to find tiny tasks you can accomplish. Walk through each room. Find one task you can do to build your finished task success accomplishments.
You are creating good habits that reinforce your ability to achieve success by completing tasks.
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Transfer Your Home Success to Work Success

After you practiced small task completion in your personal life for about three weeks, use the same process to address tasks at work.

Start with your shorter-term projects—those one-month, three-month, and six-month projects.

To reach your goal of a completed project, break it down into smaller steps. Creating a task to-do list is best if you own the responsibility. As you work with a team, assign tasks to each member of the team. Then help each team member create their task list for their portion of the project. When the actions are completed, they are all considered part of the project.

Break down each project into smaller tasks. Prioritize those tasks. Then complete each task one by one. You’re feeding your brain with task completion success. You’ll reach your desired outcome.
Once you complete short-term projects, apply the same technique to longer-term projects. You’ll finish each important task.

Align Your Tasks With Your Priorities

No matter where you are in your current occupation, school, or career, the more you align your projects with your main priorities, the easier it is to complete those tasks.

Projects aligned with your priorities increase your drive for completion. You see how completing each task brings you closer to your life goals. You develop a sense of purpose for your tasks because they are in alignment.

Alignment is important because for any task—whether it’s a one-week task to reorganize your kitchen selves or a months-long task to find a new job—you’ll need clear identification of the purpose and the motivation for the project. That alignment is the only thing that will pull you through when the going gets tough.

All of those aligned completed tasks you’ve completed reinforce your brain’s sense of your ability to bring tasks to completion.

Use Consistency to Meet the Big Task Challenge

Finished tasks help you control your brain so it doesn’t control you. You’ll stop leaving tasks unfinished. Your brain learns that you are someone who finishes what they start.

Usually, we try too hard and too quickly to accomplish goals. It is normal to set goals and then forget them in just a short period of time or find that they aren’t achievable.

This happens because we don’t see all the tasks within the big goal. And we haven’t trained our brain to work one task at a time in order to reach the final goal.

Science has proven that a simple solution is to break milestone targets into smaller milestones. This effective method helps you focus your time and energy on a singular task—the one you need to finish right now.

As you work on each task and complete it, you create consistency. That consistency is what creates you as a person who finishes tasks.

As you complete each task, you can track your progress toward your final project goal. You reinforce your accomplishments and experience the benefits listed above that come with that sense of completion, like increased productivity and the ability to manage your time.

If you are stuck in short-term firefighting mode and you are struggling to prioritize tasks and focus your attention on specific tasks, a micro-action plan will help you accomplish your goals.

By reducing your goals into manageable chunks, you will no longer feel compelled to ignore the source of the problem. Instead of goals falling to the bottom of the task list, the solution might be confronted micro-action by micro-action.

The most challenging task suddenly appears easier. With time, you become more motivated, able, and driven.

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You Are The Key to Finishing Your Task

The key to finishing tasks is you. Commit to learning how to complete tasks. Know that you are training your brain.

Your brain will reward you with positive thoughts about your ability. Each tie you complete a task, you are building your brain’s belief that you can do it.

When you commit to the time and effort to complete a small task, you reward yourself with a positive feedback loop.

That’s how compounding works. Each positive feedback loop reinforces your ability to finish. At first it may feel like changing a toilet paper roll or meditating for five minutes isn’t a big deal. But at the end of 30 days you’ve accumulated about 34 positive feedback loops—4 toilet paper roll changes and 30 5-minute meditations.

You are right, one positive feedback loop of completion isn’t a big deal, but 34 completions is significant. Your brain is ready for you to complete more.

You are teaching yourself how to finish tasks. By varying the type of tasks you complete, you build good habits. Those habits encourage you to do more.

Finished Tasks Increase Productivity

The road to finishing tasks is shorter than you think. Start by repeating those small, tiny tasks to build your positive feedback loops. Then start working on increasingly bigger tasks, breaking them down into steps you complete one by one to reach your goal.

Those task, your increased self-respect, and growing productivity result in the success you couldn’t imagine before.

Learning to create positive feedback loops is a process. I’ve mentored people just like you who thought they were stuck in an endless cycle of procrastination, never getting stuff done.

If you want help getting started on the path to positive feedback loops, schedule a free action call. We’ll set up a personal plan just for you.

Christian Pyrros