The Last 5 Percent

Why is it that we’ll spend all day working on something, and then stop right before it’s actually finished? We’ll finish 95% of the work involved, and then leave that last 5% until later. Oh “later”….that infamous black hole of time home to so many unwanted tasks!

The problem, of course, is that “later” gets here and we don’t feel any more like finishing up that work. In fact, we feel even less like doing it than we did before! We aren’t in the zone anymore. You create a lot of momentum when you’re working on that first 95% that carries you through to the finish. However, if you stop and try to come back to it later, you won’t have all of that built up momentum to carry you through. It’s like taking a roller coaster car off its track right before that last little hill, then putting it back later and wondering why it isn’t moving.

Time Management Solution

This isn’t to say you should never take breaks. No, you need breaks in your work to keep you going. I’m saying the worst time to take a break is when you are almost finished. Rather than spend the time and energy to get back into the project later, the temptation to say, “You know, this is probably good enough” is too great.

Last week, my husband and I finally admitted to ourselves that our TV was broken and bought a new one. We spent all day picking one out, buying a stand for it and setting it up. The last thing we needed to do was move the old TV into the garage (not an easy task considering it is one of those old TVs that weighs about 200 pounds.) However, I didn’t want to! I had a brand new TV sitting in front of me and I wanted to watch it! We could move the old one later. My fabulous husband talked some sense into me and said, “No, we should just move it now and be done with it.”

I was so glad we did! There was no way we’d feel like moving that thing later and now we didn’t have to worry about it. Don’t let yourself leave that last 5% until later. It’ll just loom over your schedule like a giant bulky television in the middle of your living room.

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