Finishers usually become real winners

Finishers are winners

Finishers are the winners

Finishers are usually the winners. Winners are those who have the courage to start, but the finishers are those who have the resolve to finish. Winners are grinners because they have more control over their work habits and their destiny.

Unleash your potential by becoming one of the finishers. With the world’s knowledge doubling every eighteen months, there should be no excuses for not finishing the projects you start. It is not what you do, but how you do things that will make you a finisher.

Becoming a finisher when starting and running a modern business, can be difficult to achieve.  There are many technology problems and knowledge gaps that you will have to address in order to become one of those finishers who becomes a winner. Fortunately, there are many inexpensive tools and processes that can help. They will also save you the time you thought you didn’t have to become a winner.

You will be amazed at how quickly you can get organised to become a finisher. You might be surprised how much time you waste when you are reacting to situations and trying to deal with urgent problems. These problems are often not urgent or  even important. By investing a little time doing what is important to become a finisher, you can start responding to things, make the better decision and have more time.

The truth is, you don’t need to be a genius to succeed in business, you just have to try lots of stuff. As long as you keep trying new ideas, some of them are going to finish, work well and turn you into a winner. Sometimes the very things you’re afraid of, or keep putting off, are the very things that will set you free.

Procrastination is the killer

Have you ever found yourself staring at a blank page or, unable to motivate yourself? If so you have experienced procrastination, the killer disease. Did you know the tendency to procrastinate is the primary reason many people live lives of continuous struggle and frustration?

With all the misinformation on the subject of procrastination, you could easily end up living with poor accomplishments. Dreading the coming of every new day and never being one of those finishers.

Many people see procrastination as the cause of their stress, frustration, and failure. Most try to “treat” procrastination the same way as modern medicine treats the symptoms of a disease instead of treating the cause of the disease. Procrastination is not a disease, it is a symptom. If you try to “treat” it, instead of the underlying causes, you’re going to be constantly frustrated and discouraged.

Identify the things that cause you to procrastinate

  • Being surrounded by negative people.
  • Work overload and constant day to day challenges cause you to forget what really matters.
  • Drifting through life without a vision and plan to execute it.
  • Failure to follow up, follow through and finish what you start.
  • Whining and complaining, instead of getting on with it.
  • Too much drama in your life.
  • Lack of preparation.
  • Family or other personal pressures.
  • Giving up because you can’t see the answer personally.
  • Being surrounded by clutter and rubbish.

When your work environment is organised and optimised you will see your productivity go up, your stress and procrastination go down. Why not decide to completely transform your approach to business  and your lifestyle. Look at the instability across the world, both politically and economically and ask yourself. Who and where are the finishers? Learn how to get the most out of your opportunities, a dive into the world of the unknown and become a finisher.

Seek help from external advisors

Establishing an advisory board is a great way to access external expertise and can really push your business to the next level. A simple advisory board can provide you with the accountability which could turn you into a winning finisher. Even a very small one-man business can seek a more formal process for engaging good people to help.

Start by creating a list of experienced people you could bring to the table to help you grow your business. The list should include people who can fill skill gaps that exist in your business. Start small, start getting benefits and grow the numbers on your advisory board over time.

The problem with complaining about your systems is that it hasn’t been able to hear you, only people can. Rely on you external sources to help them stretch beyond your current comfort zone, push past your limitations, stop your procrastination and achieve what you haven’t yet been able to do on your own.

Conquer procrastination

Contrary to popular opinion, the fact is it’s not WHAT you know, or even WHO you know that counts most. It’s HOW you EXECUTE that ultimately determines your outcomes:

  • Use a “to do” list and keep it simple.
  • Learn to start yourself like you start your car, find the key and turn it on.
  • Take a lesson from “Alcoholics Anonymous”.  Live one hour at a time.
  • Lay down your plans, don’t try and do everything in your head.
  • Plan to do something different and exciting tonight.
  • Make a sincere effort to finish one thing you have been putting off for a long time.
  • Do it now. Take action, any action, but take it now.
  • Clean up your desk and set some time limits on your activities. Work expands to fill the time available.
  • Go a different way to work tomorrow.
  • Go somewhere different for lunch today, pay somebody a compliment.
  • Ask somebody to help you.
  • Don’t take a holiday, it only postponing the problem. Face the problem square on, use the holiday as a reward.
  • List all the tasks you’ve been putting off and make an all out effort to delegate, or outsource them.
  • Jump in the middle, start anywhere but start.
  • Use the “salami” technique – slice off little bits.  It makes it easier to get started on bigger projects.
  • Use the ‘Swiss cheese method’ – punch a hole in a large project anywhere, but start now.
  • Make a habit change. Do something different, something a little radical and do it now.  Get off the “calf path”.

Start now, tomorrow may be too late

Finishers and winners have one thing in common. They’ve developed the habit of doing what unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do. “An intelligent person aims at wise action, a fool starts off in many directions”. Proverbs 17:24

You want more money, but you don’t want more work. You’d like to be slim and trim, but you’re not willing to eat properly and exercise daily.

The bookends of success are commitment and consistency. Without commitment, you’ll never start, and without consistency, you’ll never finish. Getting started is the hardest part because we come up with so many reasons not to.

  1. Make your start small – Take the first step. You can’t take step two until you’ve taken step one. Taking the first step to prioritise your life will focus you in the right direction. But don’t expect to immediately understand all that’s required. By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going”. Hebrews 11:8
  2. Start with yourself – If you want others to respond to you differently, give them a different set of attitudes and actions to respond to. Attract their attention by being a recognised and reliable finisher.
  3. Get started early – Someone said, ‘Noah didn’t wait for his ship to come in, he built one.’ Hard work is an accumulation of the easy things you didn’t do when you should have. The truth is, the work doesn’t seem nearly so hard once you stop putting it off.
  4. Start now – What are you waiting for? Until you finish school, get married, have kids, the kids leave home, you retire, or you die? If you wait long enough you’ll only have one regret. You didn’t start now.

Action orientation

Create a monthly ‘Dump Day’ to dump the clutter and rubbish from your work and your life. http://goo.gl/aXJiHE.

Make good on your dream for more freedom like you had when you first started your business.  Do you still want that free and very comfortable lifestyle? If the answer is yes, then you need to start taking action to automate parts of your business. And while you are at it start outsourcing the things you don’t like doing or are not good at.

Where are the complexities in your business and your life? Address issues you’ve been avoiding if you desire simplicity. Things always  become more complex before they become simple. The longer you leave things the harder they become, a bit like diving into a cold swimming pool.

Traditional businesses, if they are to be good finishers, must connect to the future and digital is just the beginning. Technology is now directly integrated within all of your lives. And nowhere more so than in business, helping you to become more action orientated. The people who become super successful are simply those who analyse, plan and receive the most help about the actions they take.

Creativity leads to innovative action

Creativity is the art of making connections in your brain. It happens when your brain has the time to relax, think, reflect, plan and talk to itself about becoming a good finisher. You can support your creativity by:

  • Feeding your brain with more and better information.
  • Schedule a regular time slot each day to be creative.
  • Always be open to creative inspiration at any time.
  • Stop overload. Apply the 80/20 rule and focus on the important 20%.
  • Learn to step away from unimportant activities.
  • Trust yourself to push for a finish on high impact projects.
  • Engaging creative people to help you think things through.
  • Keep in  mind it is easy to change your systems than the relationships you have.

Winners never quit

Winners keep taking action until the finish.

Stop fixing and join the finishers who win

Bringing out the best in the people you work with means adding their talent to the mix, not fixing them all the time.

  • Attract people who can cover the gaps in your knowledge, They will help you to become a better finisher.
  • Explore how alternative perspectives might be better than yours and how they might improve your management and your business.
  • Thank those who challenge you to grow, rather than resist them. Resisting those who challenge you slows down finishing.
  • Show respect for the talents and strengths of the people you work with.
  • Stop making snap judgments and explore alternatives with a positive approach.

Reconsidering your current situation and what has led to it. The freedom to change a habit, to change your mind, to change your expectations, comes at a very low cost, a little time to think, reflect and re-plan your activities. Fortunately, you have the freedom but, do you have the courage and humility. The faster you do things and the more deliberate your intent, the sooner you will become a finisher and live the lifestyle you are seeking to live.

Most people don’t have a goal setting problem

Most people don’ have a goal setting problem, they have an execution problem. The biggest barrier preventing people from achieving their goals and the root cause of most problems, frustrations and struggles lie in the inability to take the necessary actions. The gaps between knowing what you need to do and actually doing it. If you are to have any chance of making up for lost time and move into the circle of the finishers who then become winners, start taking action. It will be because of your ability to close the gap between knowing and understanding your goals and implementing them.

Motivation

For many, motivation is at a subconscious level, which makes identifying true motivation more difficult. You need to look deeper for patterns of behaviour, such as:

  • Personal preferences about what you  want to do and what you like doing.
  • Expectations of others.
  • Personal achievement and history of action.
  • Compatibility with the project or your business.

Everyone gets some sort of results which were determined by:

  • The actions you have taken in the past.
  • Which was influenced by your thinking?
  • Which was determined by your accumulated experiences, ideas, knowledge, and values?

But if you change your input with new information, ideas, and experiences

  • You will change the way you feel and the way you think.
  • Which will affect your choices and the way you act.
  • Which will give you different outcomes?

Work overload does not produce winners

Feeling overworked, overwhelmed and unhappy is not uncommon in the workplace these days.  It’s probably hard to remember what it feels like to be a finisher and a winner. Despite the faster pace of business, there are ways to take back control and feel fewer stresses and more like a great finisher.

Managing workload is one thing, avoid stress and pressure is quite anotherAs an entrepreneur, I found it easy to move from one project or problem to another. But, when I had to manage the detail I felt excessive pressure. It caused me and others to carefully analyse the workload involved before committing to managing the detail. Entrepreneurs find extraordinary things in places other people never think to look and that is what they should be focused on.

Effectively balancing your work and personal life is a problem most people struggle to get right. It impacts your relationships and it causes you to procrastinate about finishing various tasks. Recognise and overcome the tyranny of the urgent. If you are always ‘in the moment’ you won’t look ahead and make plans to pursue your goals and dreams. Challenge your basic assumptions about your regular routines and habits and retune your business and life to better suited to the lifestyle you want. Lifestyle businesses build dreams,  http://goo.gl/PMI424. Become a ‘finisher’, when it comes to your lifestyle and put work overload behind you.

Discipline

Winston Churchill was a winner

Can you imagine how the world would look today, had Winston Churchill not been a finisher in WW 11?

 

The sad thing is, most business owners don’t do very much experimenting. They continue to do pretty much the same things over and over for years. They don’t innovate, their discipline is poor and the status quo remains across their business and their life as they continue to procrastinate. Being a good finisher requires good discipline.

People, businesses, and non-profits tend to drift in the wrong direction, toward comfort and irrelevance. Challenge any drift in the wrong direction with discipline and remaining action orientated. If is easy to slip into fixing day-to-day problems rather than maximising your opportunities. If you want to become one of those finishers with a consistent performance, then become more disciplined in your daily activities. There should be no rooms for excuses.

You wouldn’t put off buying your plane tickets until the last minute, so why leave your important, high impact projects to the last minute? You know that you should save more than spend, but the debt you have, just like, other businesses and even governments, provides proof of a lack of understanding. Yes, you know your commitments are meant to be honoured, yet when faced with difficulty, you hesitate and take on other activities that you like doing instead.

“Get back in touch with self-mastery because it’s the one thing that never goes away. You’re the one person you’re stuck with forever”. Mark Lack

Set time limits

In today’s busy life ‘stuff’ keeps coming, causing you to juggle faster and faster. Without noticing, you can become quickly overloaded and a bad finisher. In a nutshell, you need to look at your day as a timeline and assign important tasks a certain time limit.

  1. Make a list of all the projects that you’re currently dealing with or would like to take on.
  2. Consider the following classifications for those projects.
  • Determine the importance and prioritise.
  • What is the degree of complexity?
  • What would happen if you didn’t do it?
  • When does it need to be completed?
  • How long would it take to get it done?
  • Can you outsource this project or parts of it?
  1. Allocate a time limit to each project.
  2. Start with the first task.

As long as you’re sticking to the tasks and time limits, you will become a far better finisher. 

Systems and ‘chunking’

One of the things we stress is having good reliable systems in place to do the bulk of the work once. This saves you time, delivers predictable and proven results and prevents you from having to continually reinvent the wheel.  A good system also helps you to be a finisher and ensure that you can consistently produce great outcomes from your business.

You can take your systems one step further and save even more time and money by automating common processes and metrics. But, obviously, you can’t put all your activities into an automated system and ensure finishing them.

Instead of setting out to complete an entire project, try to accomplish one goal in a certain time. Forcing yourself to complete an entire project or complex task will stress you out making you less productive. Work in ‘bursts’ to keep your mind fresh and reduce your stress.

‘Chunking’ is a process by which individual tasks or pieces of information are bound together into a meaningful whole. The resulting ‘chunks’ are easier to remember and execution is more likely to happen. Revise your to-do-list, putting similar activities into ‘chunks’. For example put aside a time to ‘chunk’  all your phone calls together, other time to work on all your emails and so on. Simply put, ‘chunking’ is the process of turning more into less.

An inhibitor to finishing is stress and the feeling that you have an impossible number of things to do. Most people can only focus on a limited number of things at one time and group them together, orienting them toward a common objective or outcome.

Strive for progress not perfection

As you strive to become finishers, you unconsciously give other people permission to become finishers. When you do this, finishing becomes infectious and everyone starts to make real progress in their businesses and their lives. Work overload and constant day to day challenges cause you to forget what really matters.

Apply simple rules to improve your management

  • Go after what you want or you will never have it.
  • If you don’t put your customers first it will be difficult to be a finisher.
  • If you don’t plan, don’t expect the results you are seeking.
  • When you maintain the status quo, you will never grow.
  • Step forward or you will remain in the same place.
  • If you don’t ask for help you will never receive it.
  • Finishers create winners.

Finishers want to progress. What is your current reality?

The reality is often hard for many people to accept. Close your eyes and imagine yourself building a better future, what do you see yourself doing and when would you like to do it. When you look at your current reality, do you feel there’s something missing in your life or you’re always waiting for something to arrive? This blog is about helping you have a reality check on your aspirations, http://goo.gl/cOJ7ft.

Create a new action plan

Someday everything will make perfect sense. For now, laugh at the confusion and wipe away the tears. Remove your frustrations and remind yourself that everything happens for a reason. Start today and plan to be a good finisher. Learn about new ways to look at your work and your workday. Start living a life that is enabled by work, not dependent on it.

Stop obsessing about things you don’t like, or have no control over. Start obsessing over the aspirations you have and what you want and need.  Your history has created your future but, the future can’t change your past. Rather than telling people what to do, it’s all about making sure everyone is on the same page and working toward the same objectives.

Identify what are the best times and days to do certain tasks and how often you need to do them. The best thing about routine is it becomes a habit and it becomes easier to schedule finishing activities and remember to do them.

Suggested actions for finishers

  1. Prepare your best five innovative ideas for implementation.
  2. Expand your reach. Concede that you need partnerships to bridge your skills and resources shortfall.
  3. Delegate or outsource important things you have been putting off.
  4. Explore how others would handle your challenges. Incorporate what others do well.
  5. Finish projects that will reap recurring benefits.
  6. Clear your workspace of clutter and unwanted rubbish.
  7. Properly capitalise your business and optimise the use of your available resources.
  8. Play to your strengths, focusing on what you like doing and are good at.
  9. Avoid the trap of sticking with only what you do well. Set a learning program and keep it going.
  10. Inject some process automation into your business operations.
  11. Whether you call them “consultations”, “discovery sessions”, or “strategy sessions”, seek objectivity with external advice.
  12. Go with your gut, when you have expertise, experience and a track record of success.
  13. Knowing is not enough, you must apply. Willing is not enough, you must take action.

Finishers are winners

Will you be able to ‘hang on’ and become one of the better finishers?

 

No matter how successful you are, no matter how many great things are going on in your life, there is always something you can improve. Invest some time, to optimise your working environment and improve your mobility. You will find hours each week to focus on the important things that will help you to create one of those finishers who becomes a winner.

Right now you have the decision to make. You can either start today like finishers do, by focusing on completing your highest-value tasks. Or you can spend time on activities that contribute little value, a lot more stress and continue your struggles.

Quotable quotes

“It doesn’t matter how slow you are at creating a good finish, don’t stop until you’re a winner”. Peter Sergeant.

“If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake”. Frank Wilczek

 

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