Are You Done With That?

Then take care of it and move on.

Simple?

Not always.

There is little that gives me more joy than completing tasks. Most days I have a long list of tasks and I love scratching things off the list. There is joy in completions. I know people that write down what they’ve done after they’ve completed them just so they can check the items off their list.

Productivity experts say if you have a task, like a short email and can answer it in less than two minutes do so, if you have a couple pieces of clothing lying on the floor, pick them up and deal with them before you go to bed. Those little completions go a long way to increase an over all feeling of well being and increasing our locus of control (fancy psych term for feeling in control)

What about those bigger pieces in our lives and businesses that aren’t complete? Those can be an energy drain and a drag on your brains operating system.

Last years taxes that we don’t have done – we just need a couple more receipts.

A file that we have been meaning to address and haven’t gotten around to in months.

A tough situation with a client that we have been putting off contacting because of over due invoices.

Last week I handed over a file that contained stale cheques from 2007. I’d found them in the back of my filing cabinet – may I remind you that its 2017. I held onto the file for a bit after I found it because I didn’t know how to address the situation.

I physically felt heavy every time I saw it.

I’d managed community memberships 10 years ago and I had put an envelope in the file that had 6 cheques that were to be cashed and I forgot all about it.

Even worse, was the shame I felt, as I currently run two businesses and a non profit (that are managed happily by bookkeepers and accountants – thank goodness) and all I could think was what would the president of the community association think of me if I handed her these 10 year old cheques? It didn’t matter; I had to complete this situation. When I saw her, I told her my mistake and included a personal cheque to cover the outdated ones. I felt a weight lift as that situation was complete. I owned my part as best I could and moved on.

That was relatively easy to do compared to when you think of a relational incompletion. It’s hard to move on after people have hurt us or continue to do so or a relationship that has changed or ended – what do we do with those incompletions?

Often we feel like we need to do something and we don’t even know where to start. Those places can be filled with pain and how do we move through it?

I often pass on a tool; a ‘simple’ set of questions, for my clients to use to use to process what’s going on for them.

If you spend sometime with each one and sail through them with no reaction – you’re probably quite complete. I use this tool to see where I feel stuck and help me process what I need to do to move on. Sometimes the process can be a matter of journaling the answers in an evening and sometimes it can take years; going back and working through the questions or even just using one that feels sticky and working through that one over a period of time.

I’ve used these questions when I was considering meeting my ex husbands affair partner to speak of forgiveness and to close up that portion of my life. This tool helped me a great deal.
I knew I was ok to move past that exquisitely painful time when after going through the questions I felt no emotional triggers or hard feelings.

The questions are simple but your answers may not be. The more intentional one is about the questions like writing out the answers and burning them, as an example, the more you’ll get out of them.

Be sure to make a list of the places in your life that you feel incomplete and then go through the following questions

  • What am I willing to let go of?
  • What am I willing to give up?
  • What am I willing to take responsibility for?
  • What am I willing to forgive another for?
  • What am I willing to forgive myself for?

Take each of the areas identified as incomplete and determine which steps would help to facilitate closure.

When we have a feeling of incompletion we so often feel like if we could just talk to the other person and work through a ‘completion’ it would be so much easier. That’s not always possible and even the best laid plans to have conversations with another in order to facilitate completion can still can still leave feelings of pain and incompletion.

The truth is that completion is about us. It starts and ends with us doing what we can and being intentional about creating our own completion.

If nothing else take a wee step toward completion on a daily basis. Look around you – put the cup in the dishwasher instead on in the sink, put away the empty laundry basket instead of leaving it by the stairs, tidy up your desk before you call it quits for the day, close off open tabs on your computer…you’ll notice a difference.

When you’re ready to, you can take a look at the bigger pieces of your life and business that could use some completions too. Baby steps.

And on the other side of those steps are more room for possibilities, freedom and of course Joy.

Leona deVinne