Recently in my work with clients, I’ve been reminded of little things that make a big difference. Occasionally, in the days ahead, I will muse on these little things that can make a huge difference in your ability to be successful in any and all your endeavors.

Small thing number one that can make a big difference: Follow through

We live in a hurried, and often over stuffed world. We try to do to much and end up not doing anything all that well. Or, we convince ourselves that we are so busy (even if we’re not) that we must hurry on to the next thing. Either way, the result is the same: poor follow through.

Poor follow through is so common, that simple follow through now makes one look like a hero at work, or in life. Returning important emails, phone calls, important requests and critical actions sets you apart in the workplace and in life.

Here are a few things that can increase your follow through:

1) Slow down: Learning to slow down internally allows you to see what needs your follow through. Slowing also changes your inner dialogue. Instead of telling yourself that you “can’t do this” or you “have no time for that,” slowing allows you to silence the hurried voice in you and listen more to the “you” that knows there is plenty of time to do what is important and to do it well.

2) Close loops: Simply asking yourself, “When I look at this project or situation are there any loops that need to be closed?

3) Ask, “What would bring joy?” When it comes to your clients or friends or family (and follow through), think about what would bring them joy. Chances are part of what will make your clients or teammates joyful will, in some fashion, include following through on something important to them. In fact, it will probably include following through with a little extra “something” that makes them surprised by your attention–and hence joyful.

The small act of following through can make a huge difference. It’s worth the effort required.