Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Half-hearted solutions

"I'll just do this for now, and can concentrate on it better another time"

"It'll do"

"It's only temporary anyway"

Do you ever get that? The feeling of not giving something in life your full attention because it just wouldn't fit your life right now, there's so many other things on your plate and it's just not very convenient to be spending time on something as trivial as - whatever it is you're supposed to be doing.

Sometimes it's right, of course, to leave things off your to-do-list and decide not to give them your attention. It's even good to prioritize and purge your to-do-list/home/car/work place to make time for stuff that's really important in your life.

But how about things you bump into time and time again with half-done solutions? How about you having to live with the consequences of half-done, half-hearted, not-really-working solutions because you never gave them your full attention?
They might be everywhere.
*The kitchen counter may be full of glass jars and bottles waiting to be recycled, because it was easier to put them there *for now* than it would have been to find them a good storage space until your next round to the recycling place.
*Your inbox might be filled to the brim with emails that are sort of waiting for your attention but are not the most urgent and needed, so you leave them there *for now* until you can sort something with them at a later date, and so they bug you daily, every time you open up your email.
*Your make-up bag might have a dozen eye shadows or nail polishes, although you know you might need the pinkest one of them maybe once a year at the Christmas do, and nowhere else. But they'll stay there *for now* because who knows if the next door neighbors are having a ball before the eye shadow passes it's sell-by-date and you might just be needing that particular pink.
*You never did the excel-course at school, so you're having to constantly ask for advice from friends and family who know a whole lot more of excel than you do, and you're spending hours at work trying to figure things out for yourself to make a simple spread sheet, because it just is not that important to learn excel (*raises hand* - Guilty!).

In my venture to create calm in life, I found two pieces of cardboard stuck on the side of my work desk at the shop. One of them stated that I need to visit the shop next door (with a mail box right next to it) and I'd be gone for 5 minutes, and the other had the same message but for 15 minutes. I'd written both in a hurry at some point of these 3 years of running the shop. Temporary messages, obviously, and with the best intention of informing the customers that we are indeed open, and that I'd be right back after dropping the mail off to the box next door.

And every time I took one of the notes to be put on the door, I'd get a feeling that this is a temporary arrangement. And every time, the notelets would be a bit more run down and ugly and - temporary, and I'd feel a little guilty about closing the shop because I'm serving some customers who live further away that the one who's coming to the shop while I'm visiting the mail box.
And then I thought again.
Three years of running the shop on my own has proved there is nothing temporary in running to the mail box. It is, and will be, a permanent deed, to be executed about twice a week for as long as I'll be running the shop on my own. It is a part of my way of serving my customers, and there is no need to feel guilty about it, and no need to diminish the action by run down cardboard uglies.

So as a part of my Friday "creating calm" -action last week, I took the run down cards and placed them to forever rest in the paper bin. Here's what I made instead:

From this   -   to this

Three note cards from scrapbooking card stock with properly printed messages - all laminated to stand strong in wind and snow and sun and rain. And I found them a drawer space to live in, other than constantly in sight on the side of my work desk.

It's a small project, and not that special, if you think about it. But it's one less thing in life that's half-done. It took me about half an hour, and now I never (or at least for the next few years) have to think about them again, so they make me extra happy, and bring some extra calm to the shop.

Where are the half-done things in your life that you keep bumping into? Challenge yourself this week, and tackle one half-hearted solution head first. What will yours be? How will it help life?


Dena Clayton said...

Anne, reading your post yesterday inspired me to take an action that had been on my to-do list for quite some time. It was a boring paperwork completion kind of thing, so I won't go into details. Thank you - my shoulders and mind are freed from the increasing weight of seeing that mail and post-it over and over again!

~ Dena

Tanssiinan Anne said...

Dena, thank you so much for your comment! How fantastic, that you've found inspiration to finally freeing yourself from that task that's been waiting there. It makes breathing a lot easier, doesn't it?!