A little time saved now equals a lot of time spent later.
Is it really worth setting that thing in your hands down on the edge of that table with the intention of getting to it later? How much later are you planning on getting to it? Within the hour? GREAT! Seriously? If not, then you better walk your butt to where that thing really needs to go right now. Chances are, once you turn your back on that thing, it will leave your mind until next week. Worse … You’ll get used to seeing that thing on the edge of the table and won’t even give it another thought. It’ll be as if that thing belongs there.
In my case, that thing is usually the mail. For many years it was standard operating procedure in this house to pay bills once per month because that’s when the paycheck came. Even when I started working again and a second check came every other week (now semi-monthly), bills were still paid once per month. Now many of them are on auto-pay. I don’t have to think about them, but a statement still comes in the mail for most of them. Those statements have to be opened, filed, and trash disposed of. Probably two-thirds of each stack of mail goes directly into the recycling bin. What a waste!
It comes back to the need for scheduling. My work day is full of schedules and deadlines. Scheduling home tasks makes personal home management feel like a business … like more work. I have trouble separating the two concepts, and it feels strange to me. Would it be efficient? I’m sure it would! But when I clock out at the end of my work day, be it 8 hours or 11, the last thing I want to do is more work. I want to do things I enjoy like read, write, take photos, make jewelry, or just park my butt in front of the television. Can I get an “Amen”?! Penciling in this mundane work on the weekends is just as bad. Do we not deserve at least one day of rest? Why do today what I can put off until tomorrow?
Why? Because there will be twice as much to do tomorrow, three times as much to do the next day, and so on. Before you know it, the end of another month is here. Now there’s an entire day’s worth (or more) of work to do just to get caught up. Time that could have been spent going somewhere or doing one of those things I enjoy. So why don’t I just bite the bullet and schedule time for this stuff? This stuff. Paperwork, filing, shredding, recycling. Oh, I have tried. I even had “Office Work” scheduled on my Google calendar twice per week. That went over like a fart in church!
It’s so bizarre that the work I get paid to do, even though I work from home, I have no problem doing above and beyond expectation. I do have high expectations of myself over all. That could be part of the problem. If I don’t feel I can give a task 100% or complete it within a certain amount of time, then I won’t even start it. I hate leaving things unfinished. Now that just doesn’t make sense at all. Does it? If I haven’t started, then it isn’t finished either!
Oh, and then … then there’s the ultimate satisfaction of completing a task and then maintaining the system. Sadly, that always come to a tragic end as well. Something inevitably happens to thwart the system and causes my fine oiled machine to break down. Then I’m two steps behind again, then three, then four and back to procrastinating.
I want to have my full-time job (plus overtime), and be a very part-time photographer, and make jewelry, and read, and blog, and network socially on the interwebs. It always seems like almost any one of them is at the expense of the others. The only exception being that nothing interferes with the full-time job.
I do believe I’ve crossed over into rambling. I will try, yet again, to create a schedule. I’m going to make one more excuse here, though. Creativity is hard to schedule! what if I pencil in jewelry making on, say, Wednesday afternoons but don’t feel inspired when my scheduled time comes up? I’m just keeping it real. It’s easy to say I’m turning over a new leaf, but changing overnight isn’t realistic! Even in the corporate world, they have planning committees work together over a period of time to come up with policies and procedures to implement change. There’s goal setting and ways to measure progress. As long as I realize this and everyone around me also realizes this, then maybe … just maybe … in a few months we can have some new habits formed as a result of scheduling.
It’s a myth that it takes just 21 or 28 days to form a habit. It actually takes 66 days on average. True story!