Is trying to make life easier for yourself in the moment, making life harder for yourself in the long run?
This has been the biggest trap for me with home care, and other areas of my life. I often took what I thought was the easiest route.
Even today, I took my earrings off and was going to throw them into the jewelry box instead of placing them where they actually go. But, now when I feel myself trying to take the easy way out, I ask myself if that is the kind of person I want to be and what will the future me looking for those earrings want.
Much of our clutter, chaos and mess is because we choose the easy way out in the moment.
After a meal we say to ourselves, “I’ll do the dishes later.” Like we will magically feel like doing them later in the day when we are more tired and now all the food is stuck on.
Or we come home from a shopping trip and toss our purchases at the door instead of putting them away. A week later we don’t even remember what was in the bag we have been tripping over.
My favorite was almost putting items away. I would throw the pots or baking ware in our small cabinets instead of stacking them nicely with the black rubber between them, so they wouldn’t scratch. Then I had to search in the dark cabinets trying to find what I needed. Or putting underwear and sleepwear into drawers without folding them. Or tossing something on the desk instead of putting it in the drawer.
Look around at your clutter. What is there because you decided to not make the hard decision now and wanted to wait until later? Or you see your mail that is still on the kitchen table instead of your desk inbox. Or you have that flat surface that everything gets dumped on because you aren’t putting things away. Is your clean laundry in a basket somewhere?
The funniest thing is that easiest in the moment is rarely easiest in the long run when you are searching for it, tripping over it, doing it later having to get your mind back in gear.
These are the steps that have been working for me to let go of trying to take the easy way out at the moment.
- Making conscious choices. Notice when you are talking yourself into not doing a complete job. Then acknowledge you can make another choice. The well-worn pattern doesn’t have to win.
- Pushing back at the easy way with your self-talk. “Is this really the easy way? This will take me an extra 5 seconds. What happens in the future if I throw this here?”
- Remembering where taking the easy way has gotten me. Every time we change tasks it takes time to get back into the head space of the original task. We are making actions take more time. It’s quicker to take the few seconds to look for the space for my earrings when I am already in the jewelry box. It takes more time having to search for that pair of earrings or clean up the jewelry box later.
- Creating policies. Decide on the kind of person you want to be then create some policies.I am the kind of person that washes the dishes after each meal. I am the kind of person that unpacks right away. By creating policies you are already deciding ahead of time what you want to expect from yourself.
Is taking the easy way out in the moment, something you have noticed in your life? Where does it tend to show up the most?
Today, decide to follow through on everything and see how it feels at the end of the day.
If you want to continue (because you get to decide), try one of the ideas above on one thing you tend to take the “easy” way out on. Dishes, leaving cups everywhere, washed laundry staying in the basket, not putting things away, using a bunch of different water cups in a day because you don’t bring the one you used back to the kitchen, tossing paper on a to file pile that never gets filed, leaving stuff on the bathroom counter after getting ready in the morning, and you get the idea.
What will your policy be going forward?