Top Tips for Solopreneurs: The Impact of 'Incompletes'
Ah, it's that tax return time of year, rolling round once more. Hands up if you have been studiously avoiding completing your accounts and submitting your return? Thought so.
What else needs doing that you have been avoiding? What has been on the list for ages, getting transferred from one list to another?
These are your incompletes.
What's an incomplete?
Incompletes are energy suckers. An incomplete is any task or activity that has been on your list for ages, that is buzzing around like a pesky fly, taking your attention. You know you need to do it but it is boring, scary and tedious; so you try to avoid it.
Why do they matter? Can't I just ignore them?
The trouble is, what we resist, persists. Each incomplete holds a little bit of your energy and creativity to ransom, sucking energy from the big, important and exciting tasks that are going to help make you and your business successful.
So what can I do about them?
First, you need to make a list of what they are, and get specific. See anything that takes more than three minutes as a project. And, if it is a project, just write down the very next thing that needs doing. If one of my clients knows they need to create a file to record all their invoices for example, the first action might be to buy and name the file. Tomorrow we might print out last week's invoices. Break it down.
Secondly, set some times and dates by these actions. Can you put aside one hour per week to tackle 'boring bureaucracy'? What are you willing to commit to? Once your mind knows when these things are going to get done, it will stop hustling and reminding you over and over again.
Third, make it fun. Remember, Mary Poppins taught us that 'just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down'?
Find a way to make the task enjoyable. Put on the right music and get into the groove of your incomplete. Find a friend to cheer you on or buddy up to do your taxes and tasks at the same time. Best of all, get grateful - how lucky are you to be able to pay your bills, organise a trip or be able to study. Write down five things that an incomplete helps you to be grateful for. If I need to write a personal letter to a client or friend, I can feel grateful for Royal Mail, for lovely ink and paper, for the chance to express my feelings without fear of social reprisal, gratitude for my hands, my mind and my connection with others. This puts you in a different space to get started.
Get out a pen. Some paper. Scribble down those incompletes. Make a start! Go you!