Have you ever had little things on your calendar or to do list that you kept putting off?
I know I do. I could be an expert at it. It’s a shame I can’t get paid for it.
One of the things I kept postponing was a simple call to the contractor who built my porch. One of the boards needed to be replaced. This simple item was on my calendar and my to do list, but every time I saw it I pushed it off to the next day and then the next week until eventually months had gone by. Yes, months.
I’m not sure why I kept postponing. It was just a phone call.
While it didn’t seem like a big deal to keep delaying, there was a downside:
- Every time I saw that item come up it was a reminder that I wasn’t getting things done.
- I judged myself for not doing it.
- It was always in the back of my mind somewhere using up valuable brain space.
- Someone could have tripped on my porch and sued me. This is a long shot, but many of the things we delay have big consequences.
Yesterday, when I was once again postponing this item something made me stop and I decided to just pick up the phone and make the call. It took one minute. ONE MINUTE! The contractor was happy to take care of it and by the end of the day my porch was good as new.
I seem to remember learning this before, but I need to keep being reminded. Taking care of these little things makes me feel good. And, 99% of the time they are much easier than I think.
Now, I get to:
- Enjoy a sense of completion and knowing one more thing is off my plate
- Be proud of myself for taking care of it
- Feel more secure that my porch is safe and in good shape
We need to allow time for these little things and recognize that it costs more than we know to let them slide.
Here are some simple ways to accomplish this:
- Set aside a short period of time each week to get the quick and easy items out of the way.
- Do them in batches. Productivity experts say this will save you time.
- If anything will take less than 5 minutes, just do it. You will spend more time writing it down or putting it on your calendar than it will take you to get it done.
Incompletions are a type of clutter and they weigh you down. Sometimes completing them is as simple as choosing not to do them, like giving yourself permission to not finish a book you are not enjoying. And sometimes, they are as easy as a one minute phone call. I encourage you to clean up your to do list one way or the other.
It will feel so good…