Finish Well

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on October 05, 2009 in: Time Management Strategies

We all love new beginnings. I love to make New Year’s resolutions. I also love Septembers because, even though I’m not in school, it feels like a sort-of new beginning. New months. New weeks. New days. I love to start things because I envision a great project and set goals and work hard towards achieving those goals.

Time for some honesty!
We don’t always finish as well as we’d like. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve managed to finish my fair share of projects (which is why I’m still in business). But finishing feels different. There comes a point when you move past the excited “Look at me, I’m setting goals” stage of the project and it turns into a bit of a grind. (Not a bad grind, necessarily, but a grind nonetheless). This is where the details need to be dotted and crossed. This is where the review needs to happen. And, in my experience, this is also where procrastination can take place, especially among visionary entrepreneurs who prefer thinking big.

It happens on a daily basis, too. We start the day well: Steaming cup of coffee in hand, a good breakfast just completed, and an entire day of promise ahead. But by 4PM it hits. Like a freight train filled with lethargy. We get a quarter of the work done. We find ourselves browsing the web mindlessly. We discover that we’ve just spent half an hour playing Bejeweled on Facebook.

We all love to start well and there are lots of resources out there to help us start well. (Your planner or calendar is one of them and your Venti Mochaccino is another). But what about finishing well? There are fewer resources, tools, tricks, or techniques that we’re aware of.

But recently, I happened across a great blog by entrepreneur Mason Hipp of FreelanceFolder.com. Hipps’ blog “5 Easy Ways to Finish Your Day With a Bang” is exactly that: 5 things you can do to push through those lethargic, Bejeweled doldrums and finish well.

Article summary: Entrepreneurs can finish well each day

I’ll summarize his five points for you with a few of my own thoughts.

1.    Set your own end time. This is huge, especially for solopreneurs who work at home. When that rerun of “The Office” is on, it can be tempting to go back into your own office and work. But putting time aside for other activities will make you enjoy your work (and get more done) during work time.

2.    Eat an afternoon snack. Blood sugar is a contributing factor to lethargy and around 3PM or 4PM our blood sugar hits a low, which is why companies have a 3PM coffee break for employees. Unfortunately, we entrepreneurs forget that we need that break, too.

3.    Go for a walk. Get the blood moving! I like this. Maybe get the kids from school. Maybe mow the lawn. Maybe take the dog for a walk.

4.    Review your priorities. This one is tricky! Hipp suggests that you look at what you have left on your list and figure out what’s a priority. But most of the entrepreneurs I know would say “but it’s ALL a priority”. Still, this is good advice if you can actually do it.

5.    Get excited. I like this one because, as I said, I love new beginnings. That excitement of the day has usually worn off by the mid-afternoon so it’s good to feel that the rest of the day is like a new beginning (albeit a short one!).

Good luck! And Finish Well!

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