You’ll be definitely more productive when people recognize you as a task “Terminator” rather than a task “Starter”. Learn how to become a real performer with this article!
Are you a “Starter” or “Terminator”?
If you were asked this question in a job interview, the golden answer would be “I am a ‘Terminator’”, as it would mean you are a decisive person, someone with a great ability to close tasks successfully. In productivity, as in athletics, the races that matter and make history are those that are completed (and among the finished, the best performed).
Although ‘Terminators’ are worth their weight in gold, the most common variety within the human species is, undoubtedly, ‘Starters’, human beings who spend far more time and energy starting things instead of finishing them. Of course it is easier to be a ‘Starter’: it is relatively easy to have the energy to start something, but as we go on, our stamina, our focus or our motivation decay. We get disturbed by someone, an unexpected problem emerges or the task is interrupted somehow and we find it very difficult to resume what we were doing.
Here it comes the issue, because unfinished tasks, as good intentions or good words, are “blown by the wind” according to the Spanish proverb. And if they are not blown by the wind it can get even worse because incomplete tasks stay there begging for your attention, the vision of their missing arms and legs endlessly reminding you of how incomplete they are, and the fact they aren’t still autonomous and they can’t leave the field free for you to focus on other things. They’re kind of annoying half-done zombies chasing you in your day-to-day. And I’m afraid it’s you who turned them into zombies, my dear Starter.
Productivity ‘Terminators’ are not chased by zombies because they focus on closing things before starting other tasks and they make things thoroughly. Now that we know well the benefits of these decisive beings and we’d give anything to hire people like these for our teams, perhaps you wonder whether Terminators are born or made. Some of us are surely more pragmatic and more prone to finish tasks while other among us, daydreamers, experimenters or perfectionists can find it initially more difficult to close tasks, but the essential question is the Terminator’s skills can be learned.
So, if I’m not a Terminator by birth how do I become one of them? Here are some tips:
Results and true progress only come when you finish things, not when you start them.
Completing tasks allows you to generate momentum, to find confidence and the strength to face the next task or meeting and at the same it clears the way for new tasks.
Have courage and start closing tasks. Go for the “zombies” because, as the Spanish song goes, they are few and coward!