Saturday, June 06, 2009

Completion is in the eye of the beholder.

While I might have several "to do's" on my list each day, I try to remind myself that I accomplish much more than those items on a daily basis.

If you've been feeling like you never seem to finish anything, I suggest you redefine "finished."

My dishwasher is a perfect example.

I could look at cleaning my kitchen as one big "To Do." But if I am telling myself that it's not "finished" until it's perfectly clean and all the dishes are put away and the floors are mopped...then I know I will never truly be finished. (Chances are good someone will dirty a dish while I am mopping the floor, and there you have it, the cycle starts all over!)

But what if I break it down into much smaller steps, and pat myself on the back as I complete each one? Won't I get more of that "Completion Chemistry" going, feel encouraged and not overwhelmed?

So here are some examples of big "to do's" and smaller alternatives.

Instead of "I'm going to clean the whole kitchen" how about "I'll just empty the dishwasher." (Or even--"I'll just empty the top rack." On a tough day I'll break that down to "I'll use a clean glass out of the dishwasher instead of one in the cabinet and I'll call it starting to empty the dishwasher."

Instead of "I'm going to do the laundry," how about "I'll fold the tea towels and put them away."

Instead of "I need to mow the lawn," how about "I'm going to see if the lawn mower has gas in it."

Instead of "I'm going to sort and purge my whole wardrobe," how about "I'm going to sort and purge my sock drawer."

Instead of "I'm going to run in a marathon,"" how about "I think I'll see if I can walk to the end of the block."

I think you get the idea.

Granted, it will take you many of these little steps to get the larger task done, but it is those little steps that get you started. And for many of us, it is just starting those little steps that seem to get in our way.