I heard a friend say this phrase the other day, “I’m the master of the half-finished.” It made me really start to think about what it meant. I felt like a fox caught in the hen house. That phrase described me on many occasions in my life. I am a visionary with an aggressive personality. I can see things finished, the problem is that I don’t always have the patience to see them through. When I heard the term, “half-finished”, I thought of some other words that fit. Words like: half-done, half-way, half-hearted (and yes, even half-wit) came to mind. If you are a “Master of the Half-finished” the following probably describes you:
- It makes you feel unfulfilled – Some people live by a to-do list. Others rely strictly on their memory. Whichever works for you, do it. If what you are doing isn’t working, you might want to try another way. When you accomplish a difficult task, or see your vision come together, it brings a sense of fulfillment and pride. When you start a project and fail to finish, it haunts you and leaves baggage in your mind. You are always thinking about it and it weighs you down. The way to free your mind from an unfinished task is to either complete it, delegate, or delete it.
- It makes you look unconcerned – When you fail to complete a project you have started, in essence, you are saying, “this is really not that important to me.” This may not be what you are actually thinking, but it is what everyone else is thinking. Whatever gets your time and attention shows what is important to you. If you are a leader, those following you will start to think it is not important if you don’t show that it is.
- It makes you seem unbelievable – If you never finish things, soon people will stop listening to you or taking you seriously. It becomes like the boy crying wolf. You talk a good game, but there is nothing to show for it. There is a cowboy saying, “He’s all hat, and no cattle.” If you are not taken seriously, no matter how good your idea, it will die on the vine.
How do you feel when you know you haven’t done a job well? What do you do to help you finish a task?