Do you ever find yourself putting off a task you know you need to do because you don’t have the time or energy to do it “perfectly”? For example, I often skip mopping altogether because of the hassle it is to pull out all supplies and I know it’s going to take a significant chunk of time to do…so, I don’t do it at all. I keep stepping on that annoying patch of dripped syrup and think, I’ll get to it tomorrow when I have enough time.
Forget Everything You Know
Despite the old adage, “If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all”, I’m here to tell you that many times “something is better than nothing” especially when it comes to your home and personal life.
As in the example above, I’ve learned that even if my to-do list says, “Mop Main Floor” and I know I won’t have time, I can still grab a damp towel and foot mop the areas that are the worst, like around the fridge, stove, and sink (and especially that spot of syrup).
Here’s a few more examples of where this “all or nothing” thinking is depriving you of happiness and satisfaction now:
Changes in Your Home
You can’t purchase new furniture for the living room, so you do nothing to make the space more stylish. What can you do now, even in small increments, to make it better? Maybe you could choose a few throw pillows that showcase your style, or a piece of artwork to make you smile even before that big remodel down the road.
You want to paint those outdated cabinets, but that big project will have to wait. Perhaps you could purchase the hardware you hope to use on the cabinet doors now and enjoy those until the much-awaited remodel comes. I once painted a mustard yellow backsplash in a neutral taupe and kept it for 3 years until I could retile it with what I wanted. I was much happier with that color, and it cost just a few dollars and took just a few hours.
You know you should be eating healthier, but your days are so busy and you just don’t have the mental power to devote to a big life change. Change just one thing to eat healthier. For example, you can choose a lighter or healthier version of something you usually eat. Your white toast with butter and jam could simply switch to whole grain toast with avocado.
Your house is a mess and you’re ready for bedtime. You can’t get it all done, so you just go to bed. Instead, set a timer for 5 minutes. Clean what you can in that time and then leave the rest. Even if you don’t get it ALL done, that little bit is better than nothing at all.
Your LONG list of ‘Must Reads’
You have a list of several books you’d like to read, but you can’t seem to get around to them. Instead of imagining that you need hours to get into that book, throw it in your car and read a page or two while waiting during carpool or set it next to your bed and read just one page before turning in. Any book can be read all the way through even if just one page at a time.
It’s the Little Things
This doesn’t mean you stop doing your best in life, it is simply showing how some perfectionistic or “All or Nothing” thinking might be sabotaging your life in lots of little ways. Take a few minutes and decide one way you can do something little instead of nothing at all to improve your life now.