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I recently dug myself out of yet another email backlog, and felt so much lighter, so much more energised, and experienced actual excitement and enthusiasm, and it got me thinking (stuff gets me thinking all the time) – whenever I get some annoying thing sorted out, it does me the world of good, whether it’s cleaning the oven, (yeah, it’s finally clean – but had to have the parrot sleep upstairs in my room so as not to poison him), taking a load of old clothes to the charity bin, making a phone call I’ve been putting off, or a whole day’s worth of niggly little errandy detaily things, or whatever it is I finally realise has been bugging me.
 
So, if you’ve read my book or paid much attention to what I’ve been going on about, you’ll know I believe in having good basic routines in place as a way of taking care of the essentials and keeping things running smoothly.
 
But sometimes there will be an area that has gone off track (because it’s boring, or because of some kind of as yet un-identified inner conflict), and taking the time to deal with it leads to a huge weight being lifted and a renewal of energy and general well being.
 
Now I know you already know what it is – yes you do!  It popped into your head, and maybe you pushed it aside or thought you’d better go and analyse it to death for a few days, but really, you already know what your “thing” is , don’t you?  I know there might be more than one, but there is one which your unconscious will tell you will make the biggest difference right now.   If you need to choose one, ask yourself before sleep tonight and you will have the answer in the morning.
 
Is it last year’s tax, is it your kitchen, is it your car, is it your wardrobe, is it your emails, is it your budget, is it your study, is it a work project, is it a family relationship, is it getting to the doctor about that thing, is it doing something about your hair......????
 
Skip the part about worrying how it happened, and give it all your spare time for however long it takes, until you get that lovely feeling of “ahhhhhh, wow, that feels good...”
 
Remember the magic fairy I was talking about?  Well he takes care of this stuff as well as goals, and he (or she) wants to free up your energy, because you have more important things to do, but you need some basics taken care of so you can get on with it.
 
The magic fairy also wants you to drink plenty of water every day, get plenty of sleep, move your body, breathe deeply, laugh, love, and eat green stuff.  Just sayin’.
 
So the time has come to take off your bunny ears, (I wrote this just after easter), put your magic fairy boots on, and get stuck into that thing, the one that’s annoying you most right now. 
 
Is the perfectionism monster butting in here?  Let me talk to it for a sec.  Not being able to do it perfectly is not a reason not to do this.  Perfectionism is for people who have no standards.  When you’ve actually done the thing, then you may improve upon it next time if you wish.  (yes, you will very likely have to do it again, maybe many times, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to improve your technique).  In order to improve your standards, you have to have some to start with, and putting off the things because it might not be perfect is not having high standards, it’s having none.  Is it better to say “I love you” awkwardly or not at all?  Is it better to sweep the kitchen floor and miss a bit, or better to leave it dirty until you can get a better broom one day?
 
So, how about you do yourself a favour, be kind to yourself and free yourself of some mental clutter by getting stuck into that thing now. 
 
You know the thing!

Comments   

#4 Rosie 2014-02-10 10:29
"...putting off the things because it might not be perfect is not having high standards, it’s having none."

Hi - just recently found your site and thank you for your work and efforts and sharing. This statement that you made about perfectionism and having no standards (for the related 'thing') has really struck me. I, too, have spent far too much time trying to figure it all out in my head so that when I actually do it, it will be perfect. And even knowing that that is not how it will happen, I still continue. I see it differently now, thank you!
#3 Les 2013-11-12 18:01
It is so freaky! It is as though you are in my head. I have to laugh at how exact you are with regard to putting off tasks and the crazy reasons why. You are correct in all your examples. I am so glad that I am not the only one who suffers from procrastination, wanting everything to be perfect so being scared to get started. My aim every day is to get to my sewing machine and have fun but every day I say I must first quickly do this then that and then I will get to my much loved sewing. You guessed it! My whole day is spent quickly doing this then that and never getting to what I really want to do. It is as though I feel guilty doing something I love and it is like a little devil sitting on my shoulder saying this needs your attention first. A never ending cycle. Thanks for your encouragement. May you be blessed in the work that you do in getting to the bottom of it with such humour and exactness and helping others improve their lives.
#2 Sherry 2013-04-11 15:43
This article really hit home. I have so many thing(s) that I need to get started on and they are all running around in my head. I actually took care of one yesterday and though it was a small feat compared to my list this article reassures me that I have to keep going. Thanks so much. I truly needed the inspiration.
#1 Sunshine 2013-04-10 14:08
What I am annoyed most right now is my habit of procrastination.
It is chronic. I have long To Do lists, and do complete unimportant easy tasks, and not ever to the more important tasks which would propell me to a better place within myself...I drag this heavy awful feeling of non accomplishment within myself...it hurts.

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