The Art of Following Through – Book Summary

Finish what you start - Summary
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Well, I was procrastinating last week and didn’t get a blog post in. I hadn’t read all week, and I picked up a book on Sunday titled Finish What You Start: The Art of Following Through, Taking Action, Executing, and Self-Discipline.

In the beginning, we all start with excitement and enthusiasm but end up with excuses and explanations. The Fire slowly dies along the way. Why is that? It’s because we don’t follow through. Consider how your life would be different if you made following through a habit. To get the secret Read through:)

It’s another self-help book that gives all the techniques to battle laziness and procrastination. It’s short and to the point. I read the book yesterday, and it gives some insight into persevering and following through.

Stop Thinking, Just Execute

Stop Thinking, Just Execute

You won’t have all the answers when you’re first starting out. But that’s Ok You just have to execute and figure it out along the way. Anyone who starts a new endeavor always starts at zero or rock bottom. They learn along the way and through experience get better.

Don’t get overwhelmed at the thought of having to learn everything. You just have to start and keep going. Don’t make the mistake of giving up before you can even begin.

Following through is turning intentions into reality. We’re not just amateurs but also unwilling participants when we have to follow through. The reason we don’t follow through on most occasions is because we know the amount of work that we need to put in, and we realize that it’s a daunting task. This is the primary reason we handicap ourselves from following through.

Reasons for not following through –

  1. Laziness and lack of discipline – Laziness hinders us from getting off the couch, and lack of discipline sees us being victims to distractions and temptations.
  2. Fear of judgement, rejection, and failure – Fear of what if’s never allow us to even start. This fear leads to Analysis paralysis. By not following through, we have already judged and rejected ourselves even before we’ve started.
  3. Perfectionism out of insecurity – We deem ourselves not good enough and wait for everything to be perfect, which never happens. It ultimately leads to stagnation.
  4. Lack of self-awareness – It’s about knowing your strengths and accepting your weaknesses. Don’t dwell on your weaknesses instead focus on your strengths.

Staying Hungry

If you don’t have a powerful reason to work on your goals and dream’s chances are when things get difficult, you’re just going to abandon them. Ask yourself what matters to you and makes you actually want to work.

The simple way to find this is to answer a set of questions that directly asks things such as how am I going to benefit from this and how does my life stand to improve
from this?

Keep your motivation in your mind and always remind yourself how your life can drastically change if you follow through.

When things are hard, consider how good you’ll feel when you finish. Constant reminders will keep you on track.

Create a Manifesto

Create a Manifesto
Create a Manifesto

A Manifesto is nothing more than a set of rules to follow every day, and a good way to adhere to these rules is not to give yourself any wiggle room no matter what. Always put yourself in a deliberate do or die position. You’re now most likely to follow through. Self-sabotage is always easy when you give yourself too much choice and leeway.

A good way to create a Manifesto is to limit your to-do lists to a maximum of 3 tasks each day and follow through. Repetition helps follow-through, and presence of mind is key. Follow the 10-10-10 rule to make better decisions.

Create daily limitations and requirements for yourself. These keep you within the bounds of what you know you need to do. These are also the building blocks of good habits.

Follow through Mindset

A mindset is a set way of visualizing and approaching situations and problems. Following through is 100% mental.

  1. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. Don’t directly shut down success because you want to be uncomfortable for a little while.
  2. Old Fashioned Hard work is a prerequisite, don’t create self-limiting beliefs that hold you back, such as thinking you are not as good as anyone else.
  3. Don’t be too hard on yourself. See what works and what doesn’t. View life as a series of lessons that you can use for future betterment. Be aware and take proactive measures to modulate your stress levels.
  4. Always remember that when you don’t follow through, you learn nothing about yourself except the fact that you are lazy or afraid of failure.

The Science of Smashing Procrastination

Procrastination is delaying work until the very last minute to get it done. If we can get away with putting off a task at the moment, we tend to do so because it’s easy and stress-free. Procrastination comes from boredom, complacency, and safety so strip away those feelings.

  1. Start easy and small. Make the first step as easy as possible and momentum will soon follow.
  2. Consider the negative scenarios that might occur if you don’t follow through. Fear is definitely not a pleasant motivator, but if it works, why not use it? It will spur you into taking action when you are fearful of the negative repercussions.
  3. Temptation Bundling is an excellent and efficient way to kill procrastination. It makes future rewards more immediate. It allows you to achieve two goals at once. It comprises combining your unpleasurable tasks with something pleasurable.

No Distraction Zone

Distractions are aplenty these days with social media and the news. One way to manage the situation is through strategic avoidance and healthy moderate use. Key Takeaways –

  1. The 40-70 Rule– Most of us are reluctant to decide because we feel that we don’t have enough information to start. With the 40-70 rule, you need between 40 and 70 percent of the total information to make a decision. With less than 40 percent you are likely to make a poor decision, and with more than 70 percent you are likely to overthink and not follow through. So try to get to the sweet spot between 40 and 70.
  2. Working on multiple tasks at once leads to attention residue, which is a big no-no.
  3. Single-tasking refers to singular focus and purposeful intent on just one thing.
  4. Batching is when you group similar tasks together to complete them all at once.

Deadly Pitfalls

The disappointment at failing to reach your goals may cause you to give up hope. Key Takeaways-

  1. False Hope Syndrome– Expecting too much out of yourself and setting unrealistic expectation’s often leads to disappointment and frustration. It’s just being delusional with your goals.
  2. Overthinking– We have the ability to think of things that won’t ever happen and it causes us to fear and worry about something we have no control over. It leads to Analysis paralysis.
  3. Worrying-Worrying is when you fixate on something and inevitably start drawing out the negative scenarios and pitfalls.

Daily Systems for Success

A System is an organized set of actions that you need to perform consistently every day to align yourself in the direction towards your goal. Once a System becomes routine, you do not think about what you need to do, but you just have to do it.

Things will become a lot easier once you create systems in place. They’re just sets of daily behaviors. With Clear-cut Systems in place, There’s nothing you can’t do, you just have to really mean it.

Everything’s just a decision. You just have to put the work in, in getting you from where you are, to where you want to be.


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