In principle, things are always undone; housecleaning, unpaid bills, pending repairs and amends. Most of us are uncomfortable when things are left untied yet group decision making is always untidy. Meetings never end having achieved everything that every participant wanted to get done.
In some cases, things undone can be so overwhelming, confusing and frustrating that it leads to destructive behavior or insanity.
Practical Tip: Rather than breed insanity, change your expectations. Don’t expect everything to be all wrapped up by the end of the meeting, the end of the day, or the end of the term. Don’t go into a meeting expecting resolution of every issue. Expect that things will be left undone and that’s okay.
If things undone are important, write them on a list or a plan. Attaching names and dates to things undone increase chances of achievement. It can bring peace to know that even though something is undone, there is a plan for doing it.
Do not criticize yourself for things undone if the reason is because you were doing more important things. Accept that life is tangle of untied strings; always will be. I have a friend who says with peaceful acceptance, “There will be dirty dishes in the sink and laundry on the floor on the day that I die.”
Did you do the important things? Did you move even a small amount in the right direction, regardless of what’s left lying around in a mess? Celebrate what you or your group gets done and be at peace with leaving things undone.
– Craig Freshley
Click here for one-page PDF of this Tip, a great way to print or share.
3 thoughts on “Things undone”
So, the fact that I am just reading this Tip a month after I received it says it all: I have good intentions of “getting it done”, i.e., reading my emails in a timely manner, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen! Thank you for this Tip in particular, but for all your Tips— I share them with others who may also benefit from your clear and purposeful thinking. Thank You!!
This tip goes beyond group decision making and helps us in all areas of life. The key word here for me is “insane”. At times things do seem to get out of hand. It’s nice to have at least Craig’s tips to keep us on course. By simply realizing that we can not keep everything at work, at home and with our friends tidy all the time, we can perhaps maintain some semblance of sanity. Thanks, Craig!
A good reminder of the need to stay focused on the most important things in our lives.
Thank you, Craig.
I enjoy these tips.