If You Don't Start You Won't Finish

Published on Jun 13, 2013 by Jamie Munro

I really wish that I didnít need to tell myself this 5 to 10 times a day, but unfortunately itís always just too easy to not start.

If you donít have kids, you truly have no understanding of how many toys they have and how much of a mess they make.† If you only have 1 kid, itís probably a lot, but Iíve been blessed with 3 Ė and let me tell you that each and every day there is at least 10 to 15 minutes of clean up in every room!

The honest truth of the matter is though, if I donít start, it wonít get done Ė unlike the story about the Shoemaker and the Elves, they are not coming to clean my house each day!

This of course is a very simple example, but I find this reminder useful even at work.




I donít always get to work 9 to 5, but I certainly strive for it on an average day.† And I often find myself wrapping up a task right around 4:30pm.† First off, this is a good feeling because I know I havenít rushed the problem (maybe a topic for another day), but now what do I do with those 30 minutes?

Itís really easy to talk yourself into not wanting to start something new with so little time life.† When in reality, I find this is my most productive time!† Not because Iím trying to rush out the door, but because I know I only have 30 minutes left.† So, stealing some thoughts from my article Slowing Down Before You Speed Up I slow down and start planning out my next task.

I take my time, put the infrastructure or documentation in place about what I need to accomplish.† Check my watch Ė oh that only took 5 to 10 minutes.† Perfect, still have lots of time.† Letís start to fill in the blanks.† Great, 40% down Ė another 5 to 10 minutes down.† Still have lots of time, keep plugging away, just about down, wow this is going great.

Ding, the internal alarm clock goes off, my mind is tired, time for a break.† Make a note about where I left off for tomorrow morning.

Itís not every day that this happens as itís very difficult to plan when you finish your tasks, but the next time you find yourself with any time to spare just remind yourself, if you donít start, you wonít finish.† Simple words that I live by.

Next I just need to find the courage to do this natural.† I know it will come, I just need to keep starting!

P.S. Yes I started and finished this article in one seating!

Tags: Optimization | stress | Theory | Rants | agile | lazy

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