I love the Farmers insurance tag line on their new commercials.
“We know a thing or two, because we have seen a thing or two.”
Our competitive advantage is a decade of experience helping organizations create breakthroughs. Though many of us believe we are on an island no one else can understand, the challenges of business ownership are very common. Don’t mistake the edge of your rut for the horizon, most of the solutions are easily in your reach when you get your head up and look around.
In his new book Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done, Jon Acuff unravels one of the biggest challenges we all face, finishing the big goals that create breakthroughs.
The #1 enemy of done is PERFECTIONISM. Rare is the day when moving forward in our businesses and non-profits looks like perfection. Acuff accurately defines the hardest day as ‘the day after perfect.’ Think about your last diet or exercise plan, once we miss a day or cheat the process, we quit the whole thing. A little grit, a little ‘get back at it,’ a little accountability from a friend or mentor will get you back on track.
The #1 excuse for done is TIME. We use a lot of different words, but they all have the same root. “It wasn’t a normal week.” “I am soooo busy with multiple fires.” Most business owners do so much firefighting, they never get to fire prevention (strategically leading the business). Finish has two great prescriptions for these excuses, cut your goal in half and/or give yourself more time. Interruptions are normal, if you really check yourself this might be as normal a week as you ever have. By reigning the goals in, we stay mentally and emotionally engaged in overcoming challenges as they arise.
The #1 obstacle for done is ‘BUT FIRST…’: Acuff talks about hiding places. “A hiding place is the safe place you go to hide from your fear of messing up. It’s the task that lets you get your perfectionism fix even as you avoid your goal.” There is always other important work to do. If you are a leader, remember your critical task is creating vision and taking action on next level work. We are hiding when we manage day to day work, avoid conflict, clean up our inbox, or anything else that masquerades as productivity while our critical goal gets bumped another day.
So, give yourself a break the ‘day after perfect,’ schedule your best hours for your critical goal work, and stay away from hiding places. Done feels good, give yourself more done.