I’m an “all or nothing” kind of girl. I don’t like things half done. Okay… I’m a perfectionist. Did you know that being a perfectionist can go hand in hand with being a procrastinator? It’s true. If I can’t get something completely done just the way I like to do it, I’ll often put it off until I have the time and energy to do it “right”. Several months ago, I wrote about accepting that there are many “right” ways to do things, but I’m still struggling with starting something that I’ll have to leave half-done for awhile.
Here’s what that looks like around here. “I can’t get the kitchen completely cleaned… I’ll wait until I can get it all done later.” “By the time I get everything set up for that project, it’ll be time to nurse the baby… I’ll wait until I can do it all at once.” “I can’t write an entire post right now… maybe after the girls are in bed.” Are you seeing a pattern here?
It works the other way, too. Once I do get started on something, it makes me crazy to have to stop right in the middle. I’ll often try to finish things quickly, just to get them done so I won’t be leaving them *almost* done. When I have a big project going (like decorating for a wedding), I’ve been known to stay up half the night “finishing up” one thing or another. Before we had kids, I would do one huge cleaning and laundry day and stay up as late as necessary so that at the end I could look around and see EVERYTHING was clean and put away! *Happy sigh*
I’m doing it right now. It’s lunch time and I’m hungry, but I’m trying to hold off on eating so I can finish this post! I can hear you all saying, “GO EAT!”, so I’ll be back…
Okay, I’m back.
Maybe you’re reading this and you’re thinking, “That’s better than what I do! I’m so laid back that nothing ever gets completely finished. I just do a little at a time, whenever the mood strikes.” If you’re relaxed about it and your hubby is happy with it, don’t worry. It’s the stress that I create by not getting anything done and then working like a crazy person to get it ALL done that is the problem.
So, I know I can’t do it all, all the time and do it perfectly. (Yes, I can hear you all saying, “duh”. Sometimes I’m a little slow.) I also know that I *could* just decide to relax and be content with how I do things. I’m thinking hubby would prefer a partly cleaned kitchen over a national disaster area, though. (Can you tell that the kitchen is one of my biggest struggles?) I decided that I needed to figure out something that we can both cheerfully live with. And, honestly, I just *feel* better when my kitchen is clean, don’t you?
Instead of trying to change how I do everything, I’m going to divide things up.
- Housework: Clearly, my all-or-nothing approach usually leans towards the “nothing” side and that won’t work. I’m going to make a concerted effort to clean as I go and be content with doing what I can, when I can. Five minutes here and ten minutes there will leave me with a much cleaner house than waiting until I somehow have a couple of free hours to get it done.
- Projects: Once I have a project started, I can work on it as time and energy allows. For smaller projects, though, it often takes longer to do set up and clean up than to do the actual project. For those, I’ll have to just start setting up early in the day and work on it as I can to get done with the clean up by the end of the day. If I view a project as an all-day event (even if it could be done in an hour), I won’t feel so frustrated about having to stop. Occasionally, my hubby will take the girls on a day off and let me have a little time just to work on blogging projects.
Mostly what I will need to work on is being more intentional with my small chunks of time, rather than waiting for a big chunk of time to magically appear.
What about you? Do you need to change how you manage your time and energy?