Our homes, yards, desks and cars are just a symptoms of what goes on in our head. I want to help you stop the stinking thinking that has you living in not only Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome but can’t have anyone ride in your car, walk in your yard or find anything on your desk syndrome.
When we are so overwhelmed we do nothing. Things continue to pile up and the CHAOS just gets worse. As the piles literally get higher the effects of the procrastination cause an avalanche and the walls come tumbling down around us.
Everyone who joins us says where do I start and what do I do! We tell them to go shine their sink but they can’t seem to get their hands and feet moving toward the kitchen because in their head they don’t think that shining their sink is going to make a dent in the cleanup of the avalanche; so they continue to do nothing but get our emails and complain that how can they be expected to read and do all of those reminders. After a few days they unsubscribe all because the avalanche wasn’t really in the house it is in their head. Please just think of the emails as yellow sticky notes all over your house. You just want the mess cleaned up and you think that everything will be better. The mess is just the result of thoughts that are ricocheting through your mind and scattered sidetrack way we attack anything that we have to do.
Just this morning I got an email from a lady who received a letter from her city requesting that she get her yard cleaned up because the weeds were five feet tall and tools were everywhere. All summer her focus had been on making a lovely garden with roses and perennials. “Don’t get in our way when we want to play!” She has planned and played but her efforts were not done as a project but a full out obsession and as a result she had not done her routines in her home or her yard. The grass and weeds had gotten so high in the back that her dog could not go in the back yard.
Now look at what has happened because she did not do her homework first before going out to play. She has paths in her home because of the piles of stuff on her hot spots and paths in her yard so the dog can go out and do his business. She has not picked up after herself and left tools to rust and all the project trash everywhere. Now she has set herself up to feel like a failure. This is all because she just wanted to do was go out and play.
First things first! And I know this is so hard for us because all we really want to do is go out and play! I will never forget when we were planning a remodel of our home. I had my routines in place for two years and I was scared to death that my routines were going to go away. I had refused to do the remodel when we first got married because I felt that even as chaotic as our home was at the time that I would become so overwhelmed by the remodel that I would loose my sweet darling in the process. It was not until I felt that I could keep the house in order through the construction that I would even consider it.
Big projects like this are hard on you anyway and when we throw our routines out the door because all we want to do is play; the project takes on a life of its own and before we know it we are living in the worst chaos ever. All because we wanted to play and we didn’t think first and pick up after ourselves during the process.
I learned a lot from watching our carpenters, day in and day out. They had a get started routine to their day, a quitting routine and a time to stop work and cleanup. At 3:30 every afternoon they would start cleaning up the debris from the day’s work. They would throw away the trash, put away the tools and sweep up or vacuum up the saw dust. They didn’t wait till the job was finished. They didn’t say, “Well I have to use that tomorrow; I’ll just leave that right where it is so I can get to it easily.” They actually picked up after themselves and made their work area a safe place. Even with this it was still hard to live and work in this situation.
I had one rule; our bedroom had to stay clean and shiny. I didn’t have a kitchen sink; so our bathroom sink became the focus of my routines. I did my routines every single day and I had to get dressed to shoes because of the construction. My bed was made and I felt good about the only room in our home that was not being dismantled by the crew. It was only toward the end of the remodel project while we were on vacation that they put down the hardwood floor in our bedroom. I was blessed to have a responsible crew doing our remodel. I learned a lot from them.
We get so excited about a new project that we are chomping at the bit to do it. In our enthusiasm we jump in with both feet and but on blinders when it comes to anything that may try to pull us away from what we really want; All we really want is to PLAY!
So how can we keep our homes and our yard from interfering in our playtime? I can make this very simple for you! Do your routine in the morning before you can go out and play! Set up a routine for your play and determine when you are going to stop playing and adhere to the time you set and then include clean up time and put away time in the process. This goes for not only yard work but scrapbooking, reading, sewing projects, art projects with the children and homeschooling.
We are so good at getting everything out that all we see is an on going project. If our husbands left a carburetor on the kitchen table for weeks on end; we would pitch a hissy fit. We need to see our creative projects in the same light as we would our husband’s car project. Our biggest problem is that we don’t pick up after ourselves and we just want to go play all the time. Play time is reward time. Get the homework out of the way, so you can have fun playing instead of having the avalanche of procrastination pile guilt on top of you!
You can do this if you will establish your routines one babystep at a time! Do you have a Control Journal to help guide you through this process? Each time you hear yourself say, “I don’t have time!” Just do 2 minutes. This will bring peace into your life.