Thursday, June 3, 2010

Life's Secret Ingredient to Success and a Clean House

Maybe it's making a phone call, or doing the dishes, or talking to a stranger.  No matter the problem or the cause, be it fear or laziness, sometimes there are things that we just don't want to do.  A while back a friend was talking about missionary work and said that the hardest part is thinking about it.  Isn't that true?  It's the scariest when we're just thinking about doing it.  The dishes are so difficult when we're thinking about doing them.  Talking to a stranger is intimidating when we're thinking about talking.  But what happens when we actually do these tasks?  Most of the time, it's not that bad.  Sometimes it even turns out to be fun.  So why the heck is it so hard to get motivated?  What can be done to get over the thinking part and into the doing? 

My motivation issues of late have been mostly related to house cleaning.  Being pregnant and taking care of two little monkeys, I am always tired.  But I have discovered a way that has worked every time I've used it (now to only figure out how to make sure I use it all the time!).  The simple trick is to set a timer for a short amount of time and do the task I don't feel like doing.  Sometimes it's 5 minutes, usually it's 10.  I push myself hard during that time and then something magical seems to happen.  The timer beeps.  And I keep cleaning!  Suddenly I have more energy.  Suddenly I'm seeing progress.  Suddenly there's a little hope for cleanliness in the disaster and with that hope, a new desire and motivation surges within me to do a little more...or even to finish!  I begin to be productive and I feel pleased with my accomplishments, small as they may be.  I kid you not, it has worked every time.  Thinking about it is harder than actually doing it.

The timer approach can't be used in every situation, but the basic idea is to spend less time thinking and more time doing and you might be surprised at what you can accomplish!


Brenna King said...

Holy moly, join the club. After I had Cordy, it took me forever to finally gain back some motivation. Just recently I have finally been able to clean without having to guilt myself into it. I didn't know if I would ever come out of it, but I think getting a schedule back (going to school) helped me.
So no worries sister! You are not alone.

coolhandluke said...

that's how the lawn gets mowed. I tell myself I'll just do the front yard today and the back tomorrow, but when the front's done and the mower is still going, I say, "what the heck?" I might as well finish it all... The hard part again is the thinking about it and actually the getting out of bed early part so that I can do it before work (if I missed doing it the previous saturday).

Mary Kalree said...

What a stellar idea. I'm totally going to try it.

Vance said...

I have put this to practice and it definitely works. Another thing I think will work but have only thought about so far is writing down a task list so when I have a few minutes I don't have to think about what needs to be done (because I always forget) then find something that matches the time and/or situation requirements (something I can do with both kids or something that needs to be done during nap time).