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Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task."--William James

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

Do you have a to do list? I do. Actually, I have 5 to-do lists. Yeah… it’s nerve racking, to say the least. There really is so much to do, it sometimes makes me want to sit in a corner and sulk. Other times, I look at the list and go back to bed. But that never really accomplishes anything either.

You see, I have multiple projects going on at the same time and each one takes a chunk of my day which is why I have a strict calendar. Of course, there are exceptions, and some things require my attention during certain times throughout the day. But as long as I try my best to stick to the calendar to work on the items in my to-do list consistently, I’ll always make progress.

You see, when you have something that you need to do and you haven’t started it, your body and soul feels the heavy burden of that task on your shoulders. It weighs heavy on the mind, daily making you think of what needs to be done. Sometimes while working on other things, this task bombards your thoughts, effectively sapping brain power from your immediate goals.

Let’s say you finally get the will power to start that task – something that will require several days’ worth of work. You started on it today and obviously, since you didn’t finish, you know that you will have to work on it again tomorrow. Tomorrow comes but with the dread of long hours working on something that you know you won’t finish on this new day; you decide to work on something else. This day gets botched, and you end up not working on the original task at all. You think about it throughout the day. When the day is over, you regret not trying to make progress on it and you wonder “did I really need to see a rerun of friends this evening?”

You wave those thoughts to sleep and the next day, the dread of an unfinished task plagues your thoughts as you decide that you’ll take it easy for the day. Besides, it’s the weekend and you’ve had a tough week. But this task continues to wander in your thoughts, weighing heavy like a burden. You go on for weeks and you realize that the task has not been worked on for such a long time, that you might have to start all over again.

Finally, you gain the courage one day to restart the task. How unfortunate, you were right… now you have to start from the drawing board. How exhausting it was to not work on the task so many weeks ago. How unfortunate it is to start all over again. Leaving the task behind was a horrible mistake for all the efforts placed on the first day have now been deemed as wasted efforts.

The next day comes and you decide that you must keep up the consistency of working on the task every day to ensure that such a waste of efforts don’t happen again. After several days of full concentration, you finally accomplish that task.

DONE! Finally, the cheer in your voice can be heard again as you completed the task.

Such a relief and the burden you once felt like a yoke over the shoulders, finally left you feeling free to pursue other goals and tasks in your life.

Have you been in this situation? Have you ever felt like this before?

I sure have. Hey, don’t get me wrong, there are life events that are inevitable… some things can happen in our lives that will leave us in a dust storm to fend for ourselves and we’ll realize that something must be redone to get back to where we should be.

I’ll give you my example. One of the tasks that are in my to do list is that I am currently working on getting my Real Estate License. I mean, first off, that license was something that I should have achieved well over a year ago… and “the eternal hanging on of that uncompleted task” burned my soul daily. But the thought of having to sit down for so many mandatory hours and taking tests and then taking a final exam was daunting and reminded me of the dreaded tests I took in high school and college.

Nonetheless, I finally faced my fears and doubts and went full force on it last month. I was working on the materials online, learning and understanding all that I can. And finally, I was about to take a unit test to go over all the materials of the first 20% of the full course. Lo and behold, I caught Covid from going to a friend’s wedding. The virus fell on me like a brick building that I built by hand for years. It felt like a truck had run me over and since I survived, it back up over and over again to finish the job. Suffice it to say, the virus kept me in a state of constant lack of energy, brain fog, and coughing that split my head in two with each hack and croak of my voice or wheeze for the next breath of air.

After a couple of weeks, I finally ended up in the hospital as we realized that I had contracted the pneumonia version of Covid. The doctors were worried about blood clots which could lead to a pulmonary embolism or even a stroke – stating that I should have recuperated by then, so they wanted to keep me for observation. In retrospect, this all could be considered a life-threatening experience… maybe not near-death, but without the help of the doctors, I am not sure if this blog post would have ever been written… but I digress (If you want to know about my Covid experience, please check out that post here).

The point here is not so much to give you a sob story but to point out that there will be times in our lives that some evets will prevent the completion of certain tasks. As in my example, I was about to finish that unit test. Unfortunately, because of the timing, I spent weeks without studying the materials and when I finally recovered from Covid and came back to where I left off, it was literally the 20% unit test staring at me in the face. Yes, I failed it and realized that I had to go through all the materials once more – effectively starting from scratch. What a bummer that was, but it made me realize that the consistency is what matters. You must be steadfast and remain consistent in your efforts for whatever task you have before you. One of the major aspects is the lack of completion which drains your soul if you don’t accomplish that goal you are searching for.

You see… maybe there are several tasks that are on your list. Some may take days or weeks to finish. Some may take 15-20 minutes of your time. It is totally ok to weed out some of the easier tasks so that you can make space for some of the other more time-consuming goals. Working on those tasks and accomplishing some of them, will give you an edge… will give you a sort of triumph that takes you farther, faster. For as the weight of those smaller burdens are lifted, you gain the energy to tackle the larger items on your list. It is worth getting rid of the mental clutter of smaller tasks when you have the chance. But one thing should remain constant… your consistency to work on things to get them done.

I feel that the burden of not starting a task or goal is pretty close to the exhaustion and soul breaking experience of starting a task or goal and not finishing it. Which one is worse? I am not so sure, I guess it depends on the expected outcome of accomplishing the task or goal – it might just be a matter of perspective. What is for sure is that the outcome of not starting or not finishing the task will both lead you to the same place… an empty place called tomorrow. It is a place that we say we’ll get to it tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes because once it is here, it is considered as today. But if you answer is always “I’ll get to it tomorrow”, then when will you actually start? When will you actually finish?

I know that first step may be difficult, but once you take the first step, all you have to do is the most natural and logical next thing… take the next step. Eventually you’ll take all the steps and reach miles and attain that milestone that you once thought impossible.

Never underestimate the advantage of the cumulative momentum of your consistent efforts.” ~ Bhai Garcia.

Once you are there, the bliss is magnificent and will help you go on to the next step of the next task.

Come back next time for another dose of entrepreneurial thoughts. Be safe out there and have a great week.

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