If you were to walk into the house of just about any busy suburban family, you would probably find some unfinished business. In some houses you would have to look harder than others, but it would be there, maybe tucked away somewhere, out of sight. In other houses, you wouldn’t make it past the front door without finding it!
Here are some examples of unfinished business:
- The library books that have been sitting by the front door to go back to the library for 4 weeks
- The lawnmower sitting in the front yard where it cut off on Saturday, and now it won’t start
- The piles of clean laundry on your couch, floor, bed, etc
- The knitting, quilting, scrapbooking (fill in the blank) supplies for that awesome THING you were going to make!
- The piles of magazines that you are going to go through and pull out ideas for decorating
- And, speaking of decorating, the hall bath has sheet rock patch waiting to be sanded… for 4 months
- The blog you started, but haven’t been able to keep up posting on a regular basis
- Your children need eye appointments
- The dog needs to go to the groomer to have his feet trimmed
- The summer clothes are waiting to go in the attic, but now winter is almost over
- You want to change checking accounts, but only really think hard about it once a month when you pay bills
- And for many of us, the list could go on and on….
Now, maybe you are the blessed personality that can ignore all that stuff undone around you. I can only imagine what that would be like!
The guilt weighs a ton
For most of us, each of these things is an unfinished project, however large or small, that weighs on our mind. And every time we see this undone thing, we are hit with feelings of guilt and inadequacy. No matter how much other good stuff we are doing, because of our unfinished business, we feel as though we are a failure.
I am going to say to you that it is ridiculous to gauge your success on the undone stuff as opposed to the awesome stuff you do accomplish every day. And you will read it and nod your head in agreement. But that weight will still be there, until you remove some of the causes of it, or you learn to accept it.
Seven steps to finish the unfinished stuff
- Make a needed decision, many times that is what is necessary, just a decision to be made so that the project can move forward
- First thing in the morning, or after dinner if you work outside the home, walk around and make a list of the undone
- Start tapping away at the list, every day. Choose some things to finish, or bring to an end
- Some things do not need to be finished, they need to be disposed of or donated
- Become quicker at making decisions and completing easier tasks right away, so they never become “unfinished”
- For tasks that require multi-steps, put those steps on your to-do list so that you are consistently whittling away at them
- Some things you may not be able to settle yet, but you need to settle in your mind that you have done what you can, and refuse to carry the guilt for it anymore
What unfinished things do you need to take care of in your life?