Have you ever gone shopping, brought your packages home and just left them on the floor, telling yourself, “I’ll get to them later”? Then a week later, the bags are still on the floor with the contents still inside?
Have you ever finished up a project and left all the tools and extra pieces out, telling yourself, “I’ll put it all away later”? And there it all sits for another month?
Doing things halfway is a bad habit a lot of people fall into, and it is one of the leading contributors to the clutter that builds up in their homes. We have enough energy to do 80 percent of any given task. But that last 20 percent — the part where we put everything away, finish up the task or carry out the plan — we kid ourselves into believing we truly will get to it in the next 24 hours, so it is ok to leave it as is “just for now.”
But we don’t get to it later. We get busy or we forget or we — gulp! just stay in denial about it, because that last 20 percent of the task is boring and no fun. And the longer we avoid it, the harder it is to motivate ourselves to do it.
What can you do about this? Stop telling yourself, “I will get to it later” or “I’m putting this here just for now.” Big alarm bells should go off in your head when you hear yourself talking to yourself this way.
Replace those thoughts with a question: “What is stopping me from finishing this task 100 percent of the way right now?” You know that fatigue or boredom is the culprit when you tell yourself, “I need to take a break” or “I just don’t feel like it right now.” Read my post on the other reasons we create piles here.
Give yourself the gift of a task completely done. Reap the rewards of having the perseverance to power through that last 20 percent of the project. Tell yourself it is worth the annoyance of this 10-minute clean-up period to not have to look at the unfinished remains of the project every day for the next month.
“I’ll get to it later” and “I’ll put it here/do it this way just for now” are self-defeating lies we tell ourselves. Choose to fully complete your actions, so you can embrace that feeling of accomplishment and well-being.
Image courtesy of Olles Vensson at Flickr.
michaela santen says
I love this post. This is something that I am always working with my family and clients to do. Thanks for reinforcing the importance of completely a job 100%.
Thanks for the thanks, Michaela! If people completed the jobs they started 100 percent of the way, I truly believe that their organization troubles would largely disappear.