Tie Up Loose Ends!
Messy hair, shoes untied, shirt-tail hanging out – not judging here, but not likely a person of efficiency and focus. Fortunately, I had my hair cut a few days ago, no way you’ll catch me with my shirt-tail hanging out, and I stopped NOT tying my shoes on purpose around the age of 16 (maybe that was the 80’s version of “pants on the ground”) – I’ll definitely take the untied shoes!
The point is - I don’t like lose ends! They mess me up. Look bad? Yes; but more importantly they trip me up throughout my day. I’m not really talking priority stuff here – like time with my wife, my kids, sales calls, key project preparation or things that have the greatest impact on my present and future. I’m talking about the nagging things that muddy up my focus and energy while I take on the priorities. Imagine walking the dog with your shoe laces untied. It won’t keep you from finishing the walk and it won’t likely slow you down much, but does it bother you? – Likely, and under the right (or wrong) circumstances, it can really trip you up!
I had a file on my desk for two months about calling a service provider. A call that was not critical, but necessary; not urgent, but upon completion, would really be helpful. It sat there every day, disciplined, whispering gently to me... “I am here, not a big deal/not a priority, but a nasty little thorn in your side. And, I’ll be here again tomorrow, as the pain doesn’t seem to be enough for you to deal with me.” Anyone relating? Soon, I had another administrative issue come up that found its way on top of the other file – on my desk, whispering ever so loudly like the other!
Eventually, I got tired of it, pulled up Outlook and scheduled an hour the following week to deal with these two issues (by then it was four!). Immediately, the whispering stopped. A week later, I made the calls and 15 minutes later, the files were cleared! But what of the two months those issues quietly haunted my “disciplined, productive nature”? They were with me the whole time, like a shirt tail hanging out, slightly bothering me, slightly sapping energy, slightly effecting my attitude, slightly owning a piece of my day, and all along, completely unnecessary!
So - tie up loose ends – immediately if appropriate. If not, schedule it and be done with it – until the scheduled time comes. Then, focus and get it done, completely.
I don’t like untied shoe laces. So, now I double knot. That’s part of the will to prepare to win – another topic for another day. And, if they come untied, I tie them, right away and walk on, happy.