Finishing Things Off

Finishing Things Off

How to Become A Better Completer Finisher


Be a better Completer FinisherI’ve long known that my strengths lie in coming up with ideas and getting things going. I am an expert planner and love this part of the work. For those of you with a little Myers Briggs knowledge, I am an EN – a big picture thinker.  This is ideal in business on many occasions: when you are coming up with your vision, when you are planning, concocting and getting others excited about supporting you.


However, it does have its downfall. I am not a great Completer Finisher. The Completer Finisher is a profile that was come up with by Belbin, who purported that every team should have one on it. Not easy, when you run a one woman business. Often I run out of steam towards the end, or get distracted by something else…you know, that bright shiny thing that looks much more attractive.


This is where I am now with my studies. My rough draft of my dissertation is done and I am in my last semester – the home run. However, my mind is continually flicking forwards, to the time when I have my MSc. I am planning my outfit for my graduation ceremony and thinking of all the new opportunities that will be open to me once I am qualified.


Strengths and Weaknesses


In Positive Psychology in particular there is a lot of emphasis on playing to your strengths and working on those rather than worrying too much about your weaknesses. However, there are times when you need to draw on those weaker areas, such as I am doing now.


This time of year in particular, you may be looking to put some projects to bed to make room for new avenues in the New Year. You may be coming to the end of work with a client and need to tie everything up. Or you may just be feeling a little overwhelmed with lots on little tasks on the go and want to get some off your list. So, I’ve had a search around for some tools and tips that can help us become better completer finishers.


1. Delegate


If this is open to you, this is probably the simplest one. Pass it on to someone that enjoys the detail and revels in finishing things off.


2. Ignore How Far You’ve Come


We are told to celebrate what we’ve achieved by sometimes this can have a negative reaction. You may bathe in the glory and smugness of your achievements so far, taking the edge off getting to grips with what’s left. Keep your eye on what’s to do will help you regain your focus. In short, lose the habit of congratulating yourself for a job that’s only half done.


3.  Enforce a deadline


Tell that client you will have it done and dusted by a certain date, ask a friend to look over the draft of a novel at a certain time. Many of us are motivated by deadlines so use that.


4. Use a carrot


Tell yourself that you can book yourself a massage, have that evening out or weekend away when and only when this is done.


5. Buddy Up


Find people who have projects they want to finish off and buddy up to support each other and check in on how it’s going (this is one of the reasons the Hot House works). Alternatively, you could all put a tenner in and the first person to finish gets the lot!


6. Eat the Frog


Eat the frog refers to getting the task done first thing in the morning, to get your most challenging work over and done with. This could mean focusing on the whole task or if it is an ongoing project or studying like me, putting ahead your first hour to concentrate on it. Studies show that self-discipline slowly ebbs away throughout the day as you draw upon it, so making your biggest withdrawal first thing in the morning makes sense.


7.  Practise it in Everything


You can encourage your own completer-finisher to grow by bringing it into all aspects of your (no, not necessarily finishing that chocolate bar!).  Finish the whole session at the gym rather than slack off ten minutes early, read the whole report rather skipping to the executive summary and scanning through. These are small things but done often they will impact on your habits, self-discipline overall and your approach to difficult tasks.
So, here are some of my thoughts on cultivating the Completer Finishing profile. After all, there are times when you really have no choice. I would love to read your thoughts on how to become a better Completer Finisher below…or even share how it feels to be one!
1 Comment
  • Joss
    Posted at 10:00h, 16 January Reply

    Thanks for your words. Sounds like we have very similar personalities.

    The tips above are great – for me I resonate with setting a deadline. I have a lot of great ideas and start a lot of mini projects. I use social pressure to push myself to finish these off. For example, I have started a presentation which contains a load of ideas, however I know it’s not ready to share or put in to practice. My way around it is to book in the session with others to review it. I know I’m prone to social pressure – so this one works for me!

    Another key point is not to take on too much in the first place. It’s easy to say yes to things, but when they all add up it can be overwhelming – even the best Completer / Finishers would struggle!

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