Do what you can…NOW!

 A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labors of a spasmodic Hercules. – Anthony Trollope

I have a confession to make. I’ve been procrastinating writing posts, because “I didn’t have time”. Oh come on! I have the same amount of time as everyone else. 24 hours a day, and so on.

The real issue is, I thought I didn’t have enough time to craft a truly wonderful post. So I just…didn’t…write…anything. Hmmph. I kept thinking about it, sure! Oh, I want to blog about THAT. Here’s a good quote. Ha ha, cat owl! And so on. But still, nothing written.

Then I decided to give myself a dose of my own medicine. Who cares if it’s a quick post? Maybe it’s not the most eloquent, but you didn’t come here for that anyhow, now did you?

No. You check in because you either (a) find my pictures humorous, or (b) you want a little inspiration fix, or (c) whatever your reason is. Pulitzer-prize winning, this isn’t. (I couldn’t quite bring myself to use the a-word, though I flout conventional grammar rules with delight. If you don’t believe me, check out my sentences beginning with but, and, or so! LIVING ON THE EDGE. Hey, that’s not even a proper sentence!)

Sometimes, maybe a lot of times, we put things off because they seem overwhelming. It’s too big a task to get done in the time we have available, so we figure we’ll wait “until we have time”. Uh-huh. Exactly when might that happen?

When a task is large, break it up! Fly Lady says, “You can do anything for 15 minutes!” Okay, I can think of a few exceptions (holding my breath), but in general I agree. I can attack the messy closet, or work on a budget, or make phone calls, or exercise, or even iron clothes -ick- for 15 minutes. I’m not fooling myself that 15 minutes is necessarily going to finish the job, but at least I accomplished something. And every now and then, I’m on such a roll that I just decide to finish the job and be done with it. If you are interested, Fly Lady has all sorts of helpful hints and tricks. I do not have a Control Journal or anything impressive like that, but I take what I can from her ideas. Really need to get back on the shiny sink thing…

After we’ve broken it up, how do we motivate ourselves to do that little bit of a task? I’m a big list-maker. Checking off the little boxes next to the items (yes, I draw little boxes next to the items) is highly rewarding! Even when I have to keep adding things to the list, it’s still a little thrill.  It’s okay to keep adding things to the list, because that means stuff is still happening. When stuff isn’t happening any more, you’re done living. Not as fun. I sometimes say things like “I’m happy that I have growing active children who can mess up their clothes” as I do laundry. No, really. I do say that sometimes. Because I hate laundry. But I love having kids, and clothes for them. It’s all about the gratitude, people. Plus sometimes I can get Tween Spirit to help me with the laundry, and she’s getting pretty good at it, actually!

Sometimes my list items are LAME. Some might say, really not worth a line item, (make lunches, clean cat boxes) but you know what? If it motivates me to do it because I can look at my little scrap of recycled paper and all the boxes I’ve checked off, so be it!  What works for you? Use it! Don’t be ashamed.

Do what you can, about the things that are important to you, or important to the important people in your life, NOW.  You’ll at least be a little farther down the road than you were before, and you can stop feeling guilty about all the undone tasks. You’re making progress. 15 minutes or 5 minutes or 1 hour at a time. It’s still progress! (Guess what? I wrote this post in little 5-minute bursts while doing all the things I needed to do.)

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3 responses

  1. Trust me, the cats think cleaning the cat boxes is worth a line item. Do love the cat/owl picture, by the way. As for lists, I am absolutely in your court on that one. Truth be told, sometimes I make a list of the things I’ve accomplished AFTER THE FACT, just so that I can have the satisfaction of SOMETHING be crossed off. Thanks for writing!

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