Recently, I received an unexpected-last-minute-extra day off work. At first, I felt relieved: “I don’t have to go to work tomorrow… yippee!!! I’ll have time to do all the things that I complain about not having enough time for in the work week.”
Excellent. Tomorrow is going to be a great day.
I was going to make the most of this cherished time off, by getting some extra cleaning, reading, and shopping checked off of the ’ol to-do list. I precisely drew up a scheduled plan for accomplishing these tasks by calculating how many total hours I would have during the day and dividing them up for each task. “Hmmm…..I’ll allocate 1 hour for cleaning this, this, and that….30 minutes for reading “x” # of pages. ….1 hour for writing…etc.
The next day, I got up excited to start this day of productivity by making breakfast, and seeing Grey off to work.
I started the day off, by checking my e-mail. “Hmm…It looks like I have some comments here…and there”…so I spent some time reading and responding to each comment on their respective sites. ….
which led to a few clicks here…and a few more clicks there…
…3 hours, and seemingly 500 gazillion clicks later…
…I have now selected the camera I want to invest in, have watched clips of how Christopher Columbus found the New World, and thoroughly read up on how to roast pumpkin seeds.
…uhh…what the procrastination?
Then…I was lost. I spent the rest of the day doing absolutely nothing because I felt so anxious about what item to choose on the list, because there was no way I had time to complete all of them now. Is there something wrong with me?
Yes, I decided there most certainly was.
1) I suffer from an acute form of procrastination
2) …and after I settled that, I chose to make ANOTHER list of tasks that I would most definitely complete tomorrow.
This time, I decided to make the list less….structured. I just jotted down 4-5 tasks that I thought would be nice, to get done.
The list went from:
1. Run 4 miles under 40 minutes on a treadmill. -TO- Go run outside for 40 minutes.
2. Clean out cupboard by front door, wash dishes, sweep floor, and do at least 2 loads of laundry -TO- Clean until the house is comfortable to sit and read in.
3. Read 3 Chapters in Matthew -TO- Pick your favorite scripture and meditate on it all day.
**I also inserted little tasks that were not so much tasks as ideas to fill the day productively.**
4. Call family
5. Go for a walk
6. Plan next week’s menu
7. Go stock up on essentials: toilet paper, dish soap, body soap, lotion, mascara, window cleaner, fabric softener, etc.
You know what? It worked. I took one item of the list at a time and completed it. I didn’t designate any specific order or amount of time. As long as I kept moving, I kept crossing letters off the list. My goal no longer was to complete my to-do list, it turned into a goal to just keep moving.
So what if I spent 20 minutes on Pinterest, pinning pins that may never be of use to me?….Or, watching hilarious or random educational videos on Youtube? Forgive, don’t forget, and keep moving. Aim for progress, NOT for perfection.
Hmmm…I think I just found my new mantra.