It seems like "Messy Perfectionist" would be an oxymoron. Like "death benefits," "government organization," or "divided loyalty."
But I'm here to tell you that being a messy perfectionist is real. And it's tough, man.
You see, perfectionists like to do things the Right Way. We know how things should be done. We know that we should scrub the grout with a toothbrush and bleach whenever we clean the shower. We know that the insides of garbage cans should be disinfected. We know the blinds need to be dusted slat by slat. We see the filth and the grime and the clutter....and feel powerless to do anything about it because it would take 10 lifetimes to take care of things the Right Way. So we get bogged down in inertia instead, and spend a lot of time thinking "I should be better than this. Why can't I get it together??""
Maybe that's why I need Minimum Maintenance so much! Several of you commented that it was a challenge to stop at 5 minutes...and I feel your pain. It IS hard.
Perfectionism is often the thing that keeps us from living the kind of life we want to live because we are chained to standards we cannot maintain. I am convinced that letting go of perfectionism is the first step to getting organized.
I know it's a strange way to go about it, but hear me out.
Would it be better to have all the toys thrown into one jumbley (imperfect) basket rather than all over the floor because you haven't found the perfect bins for each toy category?
Would jackets on hooks in the hallway (a bit messy) be an acceptable alternative to jackets over every chair because they SHOULD be hung in a closet (but never are)?
How about taking 5 minutes each day to pick up the living room, versus one deep clean that you know it needs....but never happens?
I could go on and on, but I think you probably see my point. Perfectionism can be a painful burden, cause marital distress and really bum your kids out because they cannot do things right enough for you. Today, we're going to follow up Minimum Maintenance with another task that challenges our perfectionist tendencies...and see what happens.
Today's Small Thing is to do a half-way job. That's right. Just start something and take it to a "good enough" level. Examples?
- Wash your dishes but don't put them away.
- Wipe your sink but don't scrub it down.
- Straighten the shoes by the door but don't haul them to the bedrooms.
- Set your table with paper plates.
- Stack the mail neatly but don't sort it.
- Write one page in your journal but don't try and catch up on the last decade.
- Put one photo into an album, rather than baby's whole first year.
- Slap some paint on that dresser that's been sitting there forever and don't worry about creating a museum piece out of it.
- Hang some pictures.
- Hot glue the broken trinket, use duct tape to hem your pants, do the exercise video you aren't good at.
Give yourself permission to do something less-than perfectly. But do something. Be free of perfectionism today!
What will you do "poorly" today? Tell us about your imperfect task!!