The Last Lap Closes the Gap

With due respect to Leonardo da Vinci’s quote “Art is never finished only abanoned.” I will intrepidly say finding a way to move more of your important urgent projects to completion will produce results you will enjoy.

Puzzle-solution I recently had a long engaging conversation with one of my three sisters. In the past few years, she has faced major changes in her life, including having lost a husband to cancer too early and seeing both her daughters move out and get on with their lives.

When one starts over after building a life around a family for 40 years, it can be disconcerting to just get enough traction to overcome inevitable inertia, much less get done with all the tasks facing a person in this position. For her, there were additional complications to deal with during this time. The dissolution of a complex estate and business, and the successive deaths of her in-laws whose estates also became her responsibility.

She dutifully managed and muddled through the most urgent items, (you can't keep the tax man waiting), but dithered on many other projects as they were just too overwhelming on personal, physical, psychic and emotional levels to crank on until done. I can't say I, or anyone else I know, would have been able to do more or better in her place.

When she had had enough time and had enough of living with too many unstarted or unfinished projects, she hired a professional organizer to help her get a grasp on what needed to be done and how to efficiently go about it. The decision was one of the best she's made when it comes to getting her life back under her control and giving her time to not just reflect but to react on the reflections.

She admits without the help she would still be quagmired in too much to do and not enough direction to begin to crawl out of it. To watch the metamorphosis has been enlightening and encouraging. I'm happy for her seeing a renewed interest in projects too long dormant. (She is a gifted musician, vocalist and composer and is now moving towards fulfilling some deferred goals with her muse and music.)

Seeing how an organizer has helped her confirms my belief that professional coaches, such as Art Biz Coach, Alyson Stanfield, profiled in the previous post here, can make a distinct difference on your career. The point is, whether you use Alyson or find your own adviser, if you hook up with one who works well with you, it is highly likely to pay impactful dividends on your career and business.

In the conversation with my sister, she mentioned marveling at her organizer's ability to continuously make what she adroitly calls The Last Lap. That is, work steadily on a project to completion. And, for her to see the projects finalized was very freeing for her. As they toiled away, the malaise of too much to do washed away and a brighter outlook came on her horizon.

What my sister found was to see projects either worked on steadily to completion, or if stopped before done to have the time taken to button up work in progress so as not to distract and demoralize, and to also take time to prepare before leaving an agenda for what actions were necessary to accomplish the next items on the list. These things are simple in reading, but too many tasks can be difficult and paralyzing in real life.

If you suffer from your own malaise bogged down by minutiae and too many things to do without enough time, you are a good candidate for some outside assistance. If you worry the cost will be too great, I argue the cost in not accomplishing the urgent important items in your life and career is far more costly.

A couplet came to mind as I wrote this:

The last lap
Closes the gap.

With due respect to Leonardo da Vinci's quote "Art is never finished only abandoned." I will intrepidly say finding a way to move more of your important urgent projects to completion will produce results you will enjoy. Stephen Covey's maxim, "Keep the main thing the main thing" is apropos here. Organize, prioritize and act on the main things in your life and reap the inherent benefits from your focused actions.

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