It Ain’t Done Until It’s Done!

I’m not sure where I heard this, but it just came to mind today, as I was working on a long-winded project. The saying is brief and pithy, and it goes like this:

“It ain’t done until it’s done!”

How true. Are you often starting up a new project, doing a bit of it, and then starting up a new project, whilst promising to come back to the first? I know I am guilty of this kind of thing all the time.

But like the saying goes, “It ain’t done until it’s done”. In other words, “nearly done” is not the same as “done”. A space shuttle that is “nearly” finished isn’t of much practical use to anyone, and certainly cannot be trusted for a space flight. You can’t “nearly” win a race either. You either do or you don’t!

Likewise, in your professional life, you need to emphasize actually finishing a project off, i.e. getting it DONE, before starting up with something else. Otherwise, you really are biting off more than you can chew.

I’m trying to make sure I start less, but get what I have started done at last. I think this is a very important skill to master in this age of attention deficit. Indeed, one of the traits of highly successful people seems to be their ability to focus upon doing one thing at a time, and getting each of those things DONE!

Worth thinking about?

Copyright Asoka Selvarajah 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Asoka Selvarajah is a writer on personal growth and spirituality, and the author of “The 7 Golden Secrets To Knowing Your Higher Self”. His work helps people achieve their full potential, deepen their understanding of mystical truth, and discover their soul’s purpose. You can subscribe to his FREE ezine, and get his FREE ebook “Inner Light Outer Wealth” at: _______________________________________________________________

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About Asoka Selvarajah

Dr. Asoka Selvarajah is a writer and teacher of personal growth and spirituality, and the author of numerous books and courses. His work helps people achieve their full potential, deepen their understanding of mystical truth, and discover their soul’s purpose.Subscribe to the Aspire To Wisdom list to receive more articles and resources to your inbox.

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  1. “It ain’t done until it’s done” sounds perfect to me now because I am a procrastinator… It was a wake-up call: or I do something or I don’t. There’s no middle term. Thanks for sharing. I’ll remember that.

  2. I believe the “It ain’t done ’til…” is a knock-off of the cartoon whose enthroned character, toilet paper wad in hand, is saying, “It ain’t done ’til the paperwork’s done!”

    I usually have between 45 to 50 started projects (all priority ONE) going on in varying stages opf completion — none of which will I EVER have the time to complete — just as I’ll never be able to answer all the emails I get, nor get to read all the cogent articles I’m advised to read, places I should visit, etc., etc.

    At age 68, I’m convinced The only legacy I’ll leave my family is an enormous pile of “unfinished symphonies,” “half-completed inventions,” “unpublished, unfinished tomes,” etc., etc.

    Your points are well taken, but the bombardment of input/news/articles/newsletters — all urgently in need of being read precludes that ever happening, despite our best intentions — UNLESS, that is, we decide to put our family life on hold, promising them, too, that we’ll get to their reasonable requests and/or demands…NEVER HAPPEN!

    Don Brennecke

  3. Thank you Asoka, for that last article, it is really a fabulous reminder. I am a perfect example of one of those people who start many projects and then don’t know which to finish first. After a while they all pile up so high that you don’t know where to ‘start’ to get them all finished! Your inspiring words are always much appreciated.

  4. You really hit my procrastination-sore-point with your last comments.
    Any good advice besides doing one thing at a time? Somehow I was born a multiple-task person. But I do want to change it, and it certainly gets better with age. I am 64, so the slowness of everything narrows the spectrum of the all-at-once projects.
    Best wishes Suzette

  5. Every employer these days wants a “Multi-tasker.” While this ability is commendable, it invites delay in getting things done to a certain point. No one can do more than one thing at a time successfully. Although the mind thinks very rapidly – too rapidly for us to identify perhaps – but we really, really can do only one thing at a time – break it down and see that it’s true. When you’re reading, you’re reading – that’s why the pot boils over. When you just take a quick glance in the rearview mirror, that’s when you’re not looking ahead and can see the car cutting in front until it’s too late. Something that works for me when I have too many things brewing at once – when my desk is an explosion of paperwork, for example – I stack everything into one pile and start at the top – deal with that item and put it in its place, then move to the next one. “It ain’t over ’til it’s over” is what gives us that niggling little feeling that we’ve left something undone. And the other adage – “if you’re going to do something at all, do it right the first time” – will help us eliminate that niggling little feeling. Do it once (whenever possible) and let it go. “Let Go and Let God.” Even Spirit can’t help us if we keep interrupting it and reminding it about our needs. Instead of praying for more time, pray for more focused attention at one time, then moment by moment, you will gain control of your environment. Great topic, Asoka – thanks for sharing that you are challenged by this too! Have a great – focused – day, all!

  6. It’s interesting that you say that successful people focus on one thing at a time and get that DONE…that’s probably true, but it appears to others that they have so many things going on at the same time…which is what probably drives the rest of us to take on too much…it’s certainly worth thinking about and considering a change in perspective and behaviour! One might just get more done!

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