If there is one thing I inherited from my dad, besides my ugly hands, that thing is perfectionism.
I don’t care one bit about my ugly hands, they are a constant reminder of my dad’s memories. But perfectionism is a different story. Perfectionism is both: a curse and a blessing.
Being a perfectionist has taken me far in my Etsy shop. I get nothing but compliments on how well finished my favor tags are, and how I found the perfect shade of pink cardstock to match the customer’s table linens. Those are 5 stars reviews that translate into more sales. Awesome!
But, being a perfectionist has slowed me down big time when it comes to getting organized at home. Just like as a blogger I get writer’s block, I also get homemaker’s block. I look at the clock, look at the calendar, look at my surroundings and I want to run away. I literally don’t know where to start.
I tend to think that there’s no way I can clean or organize my house in one day, let alone in 15 minutes which is the average time I would have to spare daily. But that is because I am a perfectionist, and my ‘perfectionist logic’ tells me that everything should be done and now or is not good enough. Wrong.
Here is the truth:
The rest will follow.
What Can I Do in 15 Minutes?
I have the perfect example for you: Today my preschooler had a pizza party in his classroom, that meant I did not have to pack him lunch. So, I had around 15 minutes to spare this morning.
Normally, I would have just continued with my routine -minus the lunch packing- and those extra 15 minutes would have vanished into thin air. Instead, I decided to make the beds (2) AND I had 5 minutes to spare! I was able to sip my coffee a little slower today.
Normally, I would have thought that 15 minutes weren’t enough time to get the upstairs rooms all tidy. So, I would have done NOTHING. Wrong again.
You can’t have it all. And that’s OK. Having the beds made when I came back from dropping my son off, made the task of picking up the rooms less daunting because half of the job was done. I didn’t dread it, and it felt good.
What I am trying to say is, take the first step. Start something. Forget about that inner voice that says you won’t be able to finish. If you have to stay on schedule – let’s say you have an appointment later, or need to login to work – set your timer for 15 minutes. Sort that mail, fold the clothes or make the beds. Stop when the timer goes off. Period. You got something done![bctt tweet=”‘A little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing’.”]
Newton’s Law Applied to Homemaking
Please forgive me, but I have to get geeky now.
During my college years, nothing resonated more in my ears than Newton’s First Law of Motion:
- An object that is at rest will stay at rest unless an external force acts upon it.
- An object that is in motion will not change its velocity unless an external force acts upon it.
Have you noticed how watching TV, sitting on the couch for 15 minutes can turn into an hour or two?. Or how about checking Facebook for ‘a couple of minutes’ and next thing you know you’re on it for an hour?. What makes you sign out of Facebook? Maybe your phone rings in the middle of browsing and you jump like a spring? AHA!, I knew it! Because I have been there!. You will stay there on the couch for a long time until an external force, like the oven’s timer going off makes you jump out.
Same thing happens when you are in motion. Once you start moving, you will keep moving. Until an external force acts upon you and stops you in the tracks.
The key is to choose motion. Once you start doing something, you feel encouraged and you keep moving. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have time to finish then, what matters is that you started and you will most likely be eager to go back to it again soon in order to see the results.
And I bet you will find the time slot in your hectic schedule to make it happen.
So now you know:
- Think ’15 minutes’ and then stop, if you must: A little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing.
- Newton knows: Choose motion and you will keep moving.
Happy 15-minute organizing!