Completion and achievement

It feels good to be complete.

Leaving the office incomplete is stressful. It's the unfinished business that leaves mental static.

When you work for yourself, it's not about the time you put in, but rather the results you produce. Putting in 8, 10, or 12 hours/day isn't the objective. Reaching the prime objective is.

What I've learned is that I must define a stopping point in my day, or else I carry the unfinished work with me. Unfinished work is like leaving a light on in the office. You know it's on and you'd feel better if it were off.

Likewise, a little end-of-day completion ritual is a good idea. Sign off. Write into your program a process (ritual) and close the program.

Shift work

One way to look at it is to imagine you were signing off on your shift. But the business runs 24/7. You have to hand the clipboard to the next manager who will take over your shift.

A sense of completion can be found by writing down what needs to be next. In the kind of detail you'd use if you had to explain it to someone else. That list becomes where you pick up things tomorrow.

Related concepts:

The cycle of accomplishment


Each phase has it's unique challenges. To get beyond our resistance to completion, at times, we must be willing to accept the results, as they are. This is particularly difficult for perfectionists. But incomplete is heavier than complete and testing provides valuable feedback. If you tend towards perfection, then aim for less. True perfection is achieved when there is nothing left to take way. Less is more.

To give fully, you must receive.

In order to give, you must be able to receive.

Receiving is an incoming action. You accept your creation - you take full responsibility for your actions. You acknowledge the outcome, as it is.

Acknowledgement is an outgoing action. You bestow judgement on the result. You declare the completion aligns with your vision of what you wanted to create.


Each creation requires acknowledgment. To acknowledge is to accept the completion of a creative cycle.

The closer we get to a result we desire, the greater the resistance. It relates to the bungee analogy.

Imagine we have a bungee tied to us. The further we we get away from where we start, the tighter the tension. We get so far, yet the bungee can quickly pull us back to where we started, and actually set us back further.

If you jump off a bridge, there is no tension at the start. The work is easy. It's when you get further from the bridge that the work begins.

To avoid springing back, you must cut the cord.

In the realm of structural tension, cutting the cord is to acknowledge the results created. Failure to accept the results will keep us from completion.

Effort and completion. Motivation and resistance.