Do you ever put off doing things because you feel like you just do not have enough time to do it all, or to do it with enough excellence to meet the grandiose vision you have conjured up in your mind?
I would like to plead the Fifth to this question, but I admit I am completely guilty. I put off starting projects because I want to do them with such great excellence and I just do not have time for that right now. So I do nothing. When I write this out in words, I realize that sounds silly, but I have a feeling that I am not alone in this.
What if we tried to do a little bit at a time, a snippet here and a snippet there? Would we be more successful in my pursuits?
It sounds like a nice time management theory, right? Sit down and gloriously plan out your day. Time block. Use those electronic calendar reminders. Schedule it all in. Tie a pretty bow around it.
Not to sound bitter here but I have tried and failed again and again with this one. If I could plan life and everything that happens I could fix it all nicely into my containers and calendar boxes.
Here’s more what my reality looks like. I am going to sit down and write for one hour. Five minutes in, it’s a phone call from a friend that I have been playing phone tag with for a week. Rather than continue our message game, I pick up and talk for ten minutes. Ok, back to writing. Fifteen solid minutes and I am on a roll. Oh no, my daughter comes into the office area in tears because a horrible injustice has been committed by her older brother. Five more minutes figuring out what actually happened and five minutes coaching them on conflict management skills. Five minutes of staring at what I wrote, tapping on the desk and gazing through the computer screen trying to remember where I was going with this. Twenty five more minutes of writing, thinking wow I wish this could have come sooner.
We could sit here and review what I did. I could have not answered the phone. I could have gotten up an hour earlier to write before my kids got out of bed. I could have tried to ignore or table the conversation with my kids and let them deal with it on their own resources. I could have stopped writing when I reached my hour time limit instead of running over so I could move on to the next box in my day.
The truth is that it is my job to raise my children up in the way they should go. They need me to help them. I want to show them that I am here and that I want to pour into them when they have a problem. I answered the phone to show that friend that they are important to me as well. They took the time to call me, which means a lot so I wanted to return the love. I ran over my time limit because I wanted to finish that thought.
This is one example. If you and I were sitting together having Italian Sodas on a deck enjoying the beautiful afternoon, I am positive we could laugh for hours of other examples when our schedule did not exactly go as planned.
The bottom line was in that hour, I wrote words and made progress. I built up a friend, who also encouraged me. I taught a little lesson to my kiddos. That’s a lot. It may not have been exactly what I expected, but progress was still made.
So why do I not celebrate the success of progress? Why is it that we can only feel like we are successful if we accomplish or complete projects in full? I am sure stuck on that. What about you? Do you pat yourself on the back when you make progress on a task or only when you can cross a task off your to do list?
I propose that we celebrate the progress that we make, because progress means that we are moving. That is much better than being at a stop. Let’s cheer over those little things. Let’s get joy out of moving forward. Let’s find success in the snippets.