Follow through…part way is just not enough


Liz Jenkins

letter sealed with wax stamp

I recently got a facebook message from my cousin asking if I’d mailed a check for something I had purchased from her shop when we were visiting out of town. I said, of course I had mailed it! I mean, I’m organized. I remember writing the check and setting it in the ‘to be mailed’ spot. Of course.

Then about a week later, I was cleaning out my work bag and found the check, in the nice card and envelope, all addressed and stamped, in a side pocket of the bag. I had tucked it there with all good intentions of getting in the mailbox but it never happened. Kind of embarrassing but there you have it. No one is perfect, least of all me.

But I did apologize, get it in the mail right away and all is good. But from this comes a lesson. Just getting started, or nearly finished with something doesn’t mean that the job is done. You need to have that follow through.

This is when I see all the good intentions at my clients….the bags to take to charity, the books to donate to the library, the items to post on ebay, the unmailed thank you notes for the child’s birthday party. Everything is ready to go. But it doesn’t.

So take that few minutes, write down all those nagging unfinished items, and take them one at a time. Post the letters. Get the donation items in the car and off to the thrift store. Drop the books at the library. Post the ebay items. Tackle just one of those unfinished items each day and pretty soon you’ll have a nicely crossed off ‘to-do’ list.

You don’t need anything fancy for this – a legal pad, scratch paper or what I use: a small spiral notebook.

My list today includes stitching up a tiny hole on the seam of my favorite sweater, dropping off books for the library book sale and uploading some photos from a recent event that I needed to email to the group. It feels great to cross off those items, and inspires me to do a few more before I head out for the day. Off to the bathroom to install the plug extender so I can charge both my toothbrush and my Clarisonic facial scrubber at the same time! I know, you are wondering how I can handle such excitement but I do get a little thrill each time I identify these niggling undone things and get them done.

Just so you don’t get too overwhelmed…do know that the list is never ending because there are always little things that need doing. But by identifying them and carving out tiny bits of time to finish them, you will find a bit more piece of mind at the end of the day.