How Is Your Follow Through? 3 Ways To Improve It!

Image: Suat Eman /

Something I’ve found myself struggling with is my follow through. I’ll get a phone call or someone will ask me to help them with a task. Happily, I’ll agree and say “sure, I’ll give you a call and setup a time.”

It is so easy to say “Yes” in a situation like this. You feel your sense of obligation to help kick in and you respond without thinking. You feel good about yourself and then continue on your way feeling you’ve done a good deed. But have you?

Nine out of ten times that phone call never happens. Life gets in the way or you just forget. It happens to the best of us, you say and shrug it off. You think it will not matter and it may not in the grand scheme of things.

However, it reflects poorly on your character. Committing to do something and not following through shows a lack of consistency. To be a great leader, that’s something you don’t want to be known as.

They don’t follow through? They’re inconsistent.

-Peter Mehler

There’s good news! There are ways that we can break this bad habit. Let me show you three ways that we can improve our follow through.

1. Use A Calendar: With today’s technology, almost all of us carry around at least one calendar with us. Most cell phones, smart or not, have a calendar feature. The calendar feature makes it easy to jot down the task that needs to be done. There is also the option to have an alarm go off as a reminder. When the alarm goes off, complete the task and you will have followed through.

2. Do It Right Away: Often our follow through suffers because we put it on the back burner. Once you have made the commitment, start completing the task right away. Doing this will get the task done sooner and will not give you the chance to forget about it. As a bonus, you will probably impress the person you committed to by completing the task quickly.

3. Say NO: By saying no, you are following through immediately. We have all put something off and not finished our commitment because we did not want to do the task in the first place. Saying no creates an immediate follow through and will not commit you to something that you did not want to do. To help ease any hard feelings that may come from saying no, have someone in mind who is better than you at the task. This way you have something to offer even if you cannot do it yourself.

One of the things that leaders need to be is consistent. Consistency helps those in your team to know that you will be there and can be counted on. If your team feels that you will not follow through, they will not feel the need to either. Lets put these three items into practice and improve our follow through!

Question: Do you find yourself not following through with your commitments?  Why do you think this is the case? Please share your answers in the comment section.

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