These are tasks that you can finish and be done with – at least for a time. An annual report, paying a bill, creating a resource, completing a job, trying up loose ends.
Getting these things done closes down options, shuts down possibilities.
We decide the scope of a project – and cut off the possibilities outside it so that we can focus and get things done.
We carry out a project – execute on a task, deliver a result – and it’s done.
We say ‘no’ to an offer or request – and save hours of thought and work down the road.
Executive and decisive work are central to our ability to get things done. It feels good to finish. Closing doors and cutting things away reduces friction and brings us closure. It’s worth learning to execute well.
At the same time, improving at this kind of work only brings incremental gains – you do what you were doing before, only faster. You might change how far you go, but it won’t change your direction.