This is a followup from last week’s post. The wallpaper is up! It took much longer than I anticipated, with all the cuts and matching the horizontal and vertical lines, so I didn’t actually finish until Monday. But it’s done, and it looks good and I’m proud of myself for having made the effort.
Like many projects, the doing wasn’t the fun part. I was excited to find the wallpaper, and I was looking forward to seeing the finished walls, but I didn’t really feel like doing the work. Especially after it took me an hour to hang the first piece.
Every day you do things you don’t feel like doing. I don’t feel like brushing my teeth. Or doing laundry. Or going grocery shopping. I know that there is a payoff for each of these things, and if I don’t do them, there will be consequences.
I’ve realized that projects without consequences are the ones that sit undone. They might have great payoff, but if there’s no penalty for not finishing them, they aren’t high on the list of priorities. My kitchen backsplash, for example, has been annoying me for years, but it didn’t keep me from preparing meals, so there was no consequence for leaving it as it was.
Once I found the wallpaper, I thought I’d put it up quickly, but that didn’t happen. I really thought I bought it a month ago, but I checked the receipt, and it’s been almost three months. I bought way more than I needed, so I have to return the extras. Target has a 90-day return policy, so now there was a consequence. If I didn’t want $80 worth of wallpaper laying around, reminding me of my procrastination, I had to get it done.
A lot of clutter is caused by ambitious projects. You want to do something, so you buy the materials, but never get around to using them. They end up in the basement or garage or spare closet, and you get annoyed every time you see them. You think about the money you spent and how much you don’t feel like working on it right now.
Take a look at your project clutter. Instead of putting it off for someday when you feel like it, decide whether it’s worth doing at all. Is there a cost associated with not attending to it (consequence) that outweighs the benefit of getting it done? If the benefit of finishing is greater, find a way to get it done. Can you ask for help? Can you pay someone to do it for you?
Fighting procrastination can mean changing your plans and realizing you’re not going to do something. If there is little payoff, maybe you can let it go altogether. You’re not a failure when you don’t complete something. Instead, you’re being realistic about the amount of time you want to dedicate to it. Return, give away or sell the unused materials if you’re not going to do it. That way you’ll avoid the nagging clutter.
Do you have a project you don’t feel like doing? How can you take it off your to-do list? Leave a comment, below.
Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie™
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