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February 5, 2013

20 Minutes to Perfection

If you've seen a few episodes of Hoarders you already know that some of the poor souls on the program suffer from a very extreme form of perfectionism. I can't walk through my house but I can't get rid of anything because I just need the time to organize it PERFECTLY. Maybe I should buy another bookcase?

Not all perfectionists end up hoarders. Some of us end up re-grouting the tub every time we have company coming to stay. My brain tells me that I have company coming and I should vacuum, do a load of towels ... and then maybe repaint the kitchen, install a chandelier and create a concept wall. SO IT IS PERFECT.

Not everything about perfectionism is bad. The desire to be more, do more, do it right, get it done just so motivates some of us in a way no exterior incentive can. But oftentimes perfectionism stands in the way of accomplishment. It tells us we can't start a project until we have enough time to devote to it to get it done RIGHT. It keeps us from making little efforts, little changes, little dents here and there. It may keep some of us from having company because there is simply not enough time to repaint the whole house.

Perfectionism stirs up a lot of "Why bother? I'll never be perfect at this. Why even try?"

So I have been thinking about how and why the 20 minute thing worked for me when all the flylady and "tackle one drawer a day" stuff never clicked. How long have I been telling you about my cleaning marathons and the deep desire I have to declutter so I can clean less? I was able to clean obsessively while I was at home hermiting but now I'm in the studio all day. I work 10, sometimes 12 hours a day on a project that I love, LOVE. But it leaves little time to do anything else perfectly (or at all, in some cases). I don't have time, energy or desire to waste a precious free day getting it all exquisitely clean.

The 20-minutes-a-day thing is working because it comes at the issue from a whole new angle. Instead of being perfect at cleaning, I'm focusing my perfectionism on keeping up my 20-minutes a day commitment. It's taking something that appears to be a fault ("crazypantsedness') and turning into an asset ("striving toward a goal").

This is how I am approaching all of 2013. If I have a roadblock or issue or hissyfit, I immediately stop pushing so hard on the problem and look for a new angle. Work the problem from a whole 'nother place.

Life is short, but we all have 20 minutes for something.

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Hello. This photo has nothing to do with the words! I'm on instagram pretty much all day every day and I love seeing your pictures too ... you can find me at: http://instagram.com/crazyauntpurl/ and if you have the app let me know so I can follow you, too. I love to see your cats, dogs, kids, knitting, food and manicures! Some of you are amazing photographers. I mostly post cat pictures. SURPRISING, I KNOW.

Posted by laurie at February 5, 2013 8:47 AM