The rule of done

My college roommate Dale reminded me of an important rule of thumb that I use every day. I call it the Rule of Done. Here is the rule:

  • “It is not a matter of wanting, it is a matter of doing!”

Self-talk is a wonderful thing. We all do it throughout our waking moments. There is a little voice in the back of your head telling you things. Sometimes I say to my kids “You need to listen to that little voice.” Well I need to clarify something about this piece of advice – you need to listen, but you don’t always need to go along with the input that your little voice is giving.

Here’s an example – the alarm goes off and you are lying there in bed.  The little voice says “I don’t want to get up.” This is an example of one of those places where you need to apply the Rule of Done – “It is not a matter of wanting, it is a matter of doing.” You may not want to, but you get up anyway.

Here’s another example – you know you have an assignment due in a few days. You realize that you need to start working on it so that you can deliver a high-quality result. That little voice might say “But I don’t want to work on it now, I will put it off until tomorrow.” – There is that tip-off phrase “I don’t want… again. So apply the Rule of Done. It is not a matter of wanting, it is a matter of doing. You overrule that little voice in your head, and you “get-r-done.” You stop arguing with yourself and “just do it.”

Try this out in your every day life and I think you’ll like the results. Tomorrow when that little voice in your head says “I don’t want to work out” say right back to it “It is not a matter of wanting, it is a matter of doing.” Or when that voice says “I don’t want to cold-call that prospect” or “I don’t want to have that conversation” or “I don’t want to….” Apply the Rule of Done. You will find that you can save yourself a lot of time and a lot of angst by following this rule.

Dale and I had a great time rooming together because we and our roommates shared a respect for the Rule of Done.

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About Bob Ganley

Enterprise Information Technology Executive, Family Man, Athlete @ganleybob on twitter
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