April 2, 2013

Finish It

I don't think I have mentioned before that Tim and I are in the midst of renovating our kitchen. Nothing drastic, mostly just cosmetic. We're about 60% of the way there, I'd say, and it's looking great! The only problem is that we've been in the "midst" of the kitchen updates since April 2012... aka: I fail at following through. I have great ideas and intentions, but I can never seem to muster up the ambition to get 'er done. I know I'm totally capable of knocking things out, but I just allow myself to get overwhelmed by the quantity of things there are to do!

Since we moved into our home in 2010, I've been working up a pretty wicked mental checklist of all the things I would like to eventually do/should have done 6 months ago. You name it, and I've got an imaginary checkbox for it. Sometimes all of those things swirling around in my head make me crazy! The other day I tried to take a nap, but Mental Checklist was not about to let me rest until I had made a list of everything in the entire world that I could possibly need to do within the next 20 years. I went insane, people. I clocked at least an hour and four pages of furious scribbling. And things like "come up with a fun Easter tradition for your future children" is not even in my wheelhouse right now! But I have to admit that my head felt at least 10 pounds lighter afterward, and I wished I would have done that months ago.

Anywho, my brain emptying exercise helped me see that there are PLENTY of easy-peasy tasks that I could totally stop putting off like a bum. How simple it would be if I could just commit to checking one of these things off the list each week. In light of this epiphany, I have developed a 12-step program for recovering from my dis-ambition. (Psych! It's a 1-step program. We slackers have to start small, ya know?) But I'm really excited about it, so I'm going to share it with you.

Introducing: The Finish It Jar

After typing up The Master To-Do List for All of Life, I searched for items that met ALL of the following requirements:
1. I can finish this task completely in one week or less.
2. This task requires very little decision-making or prior planning.
3. I don't need to complete any other projects in order to get this one done.

I selected a dozen or so items that met the mark, printed them out, and cut them into strips. Each strip got folded up and tossed into the Jar. I plan to pull out one slip every Sunday, and I will have until the following Sunday to fully complete whatever is written. 

I was really specific about the tasks that I chose because I wanted to feel confident about my ability to totally FINISH what was listed. For this to happen it could not require tons of thought or very much moolah. The point is FINISHING things, not strapping ourselves for cash or stressing myself out. I didn't set up any kind of "reward" system for myself a) because I'm 25 and I need to just do things because I'm an adult, not because I get candy; and b) I'm fairly motivated by feelings of accomplishment. But just in case I start to dread reaching in to the Jar each Sunday, I did throw in a few fun things like "make some baked treats for a friend." 

Now, I'm fairly certain that I'm not the only one in the world who struggles with getting things done. (I mean seriously, how many of you dust your ceiling fans when you could be eating any number of delicious things, or taking a nap? And just FYI, running the fan on ultra high will not make the dust fly off. Tried it.) This is why I want to invite you to join me! Learning to be more intentional and disciplined is so effective when there are others around you to encourage and hold you accountable. If my lazy, procrastinating self can do it, I know you can too! 

I've even made it easy for you to put your jar together. I created this cute little tag in Paint (take that, Photoshop!) for you to downloaded if you'd like. 

 Click here to download and print!

And if you are a blogger, feel free to grab a button! I will update my blog periodically with Finish It endeavors, and I'd love to hear from you as well.

Happy Finishing! 

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