Have you ever been told that doing something is better than nothing? This expression applies to almost every circumstance you may come across. Below is a scenario that occurs frequently in my house. I wonder if it has happened to you?
A Dinner Party
You just prepared a fantastic dinner for a couple with whom you enjoy spending time. The food was fantastic. The company was great and the bottle of wine they brought was simply perfect.
They leave about 9:30. You are feeling happy and replete. Then you go into your kitchen and see the natural disaster that has occurred due to your food preparation and the dining.
All you really want to do is go to bed. The disaster in the kitchen will still be there in the morning and you will feel fresher and can take care of it then. This is what you tell yourself.
But in your heart of hearts, you know that you do not want to come out to this mess in the kitchen in the morning to fix your coffee.
Here is where doing something is better than nothing. You take the time to rinse the dishes, cutlery, and glasses and put them in the dishwasher. Then rather than scrubbing out the messy casseroles and the pie plate, you leave them in the sink to soak overnight. A quick wipe of the counter and off to bed. The you tomorrow will really thank the you that took the extra time tonight.
Write a Draft
For myself I have seen similar scenarios play out. It is my usual time to quit for the evening. I had promised myself that I would get a blog written today yet not the first word is on paper. I’m tired. Tomorrow is going to be another full day. If I take the extra 15 or 20 minutes just to do an outline or rough draft I will enjoy my evening even more. Rather than have the whole project hanging over my head I know that I have done something to move it along.
Take 10 Minutes
I had promised myself that I would declutter and clean the closet today. I still have other tasks to do that have a higher priority. It’s not all going to get done. I get out my Organize Your Home 10 Minutes at a Time deck of cards, pull one of the cards for the closet, set my timer for 10 minutes and get to work. Ten minutes does not impact my day that much and I can feel that I have at least done something to move the project along.
Diane and I have been promoting this idea to our clients recently. We have found that our clients feel so much better doing something on their projects rather than reporting back that they were too overwhelmed to do anything. Allowing themselves the option of doing a part of the project causes them to feel successful and accomplished. By going back multiple times in the week and each time just doing a part, they usually get the whole project finished or at least nearly finished.
By allowing themselves to work just 10 minutes, they get an easy win. Usually, they feel like setting that timer and doing another 10 minutes before moving on to something else. They are finding that they are accomplishing more in a week using this idea of “something is better than nothing”.
When you are tired and just want to quit for the day but are also feeling frustrated because you still have a lot on your list that you planned to do, set your timer for 10 minutes and like a runner at the end of the race, give yourself one last push of energy to do something on a project on that list. You will feel less frustrated and tomorrow will be that much lighter.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, author of four books as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients.