Follow through is key

Photo courtesy of Flic Pics (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Flic Pics (Creative Commons)

In baseball, golf or tennis, a key part of a swing at the ball is the follow through – without it, the ball will not go where you want it to.

I’m finding that I often miss that step in a lot of the work I do, making life more difficult than it needs to be.

Have you ever gotten an email that involved going to a website to do something, you go do it, but then you forget to delete the email? Later, you go through the steps again because you aren’t sure that you finished?

Or what about when you are going through a list, checking off things as you finish, and then you forget to check something off? Makes for a lot of extra work to go back later only to realize you took care of it originally.

Sometimes the final step is to communicate to your team or boss where you are on a project.

I have discovered that part of my problem with having too much to do is because I don’t always follow through like I should. Whether it’s at work, my volunteer work or just personal things, I need to take the extra moment to finish it up before I move on.

I actually practiced it at work last week. Someone interrupted me in the middle of working on something on the computer. Normally, I would have stopped to take care of their issue and then gone back to what I was doing – discovered I wasn’t sure where I stopped, and waste time going back over it until I figured it out.

But this time, I said, “I’ll be there in a minute, let me finish what I’m doing.”

The world didn’t end. They didn’t freak out. In fact, they apologized for interrupting me and said that was fine whenever I got to it.

I finished up, closed the file, and went to take care of the other matter, knowing that when I came back, I would just start the next file.

Beautiful. I got a whole lot more done that day because I approached each interruption that way and was able to follow through on what I was doing to get to a good stopping point.

What tasks or projects would be more efficient for you if you had better follow through?