January 20, 2011

Do it all or do nothing at all?

I tend to be one of those all-or-nothing-type people by nature. I struggled with this as a child, but once I became aware of this tendency, I've worked continually and consciously (with God's help) to fine-tune my nature so that it works to my benefit. It's great to know what your natural inclinations are, but it's even better to find out that you can change them! Can I get an 'amen'?

The "all-or-nothing" attitude basically says, "I need to do it ALL, or else I'm not even going to try."...it may also say, "I need to do it all at once, or it's not worth being done."

Cons of being the all-or-nothing-type: If you entertain this way of thinking, you risk wasting your time wallowing and doing nothing. Or you could end up falling the other way by doing everything and burning out. I've been on both ends of the spectrum, and in both cases I end up beaten.

Pros of being the all-or-nothing-type: You're naturally quite driven, so there's potential to get LOTS done.

People often ask me how I get so much done; how I manage two businesses, keeping a household, and raising 3 small children while my husband is gone for days at a time and then all the short-term projects I take on.

Well, one of the first things I've come to terms with is that I CANNOT do it all. Period. Yes, I can do anything...but I am only one person, and I cannot do it all. I say no to requests all the time. I say no to things that I actually want to be involved in. Does this hurt me? Yup. Sometimes it's very hard for me to say no. There have been many times where I mull things over for a week or more (until I let go of it), feeling bad for saying no.

Second thing, is that if I'm going to get anything done at all, I need to lower my standards a bit. Yes...LOWER my standards (man, that's hard to type). I guess it could be better described as fine-tuning my standards. For me, this means simplifying things. I try to cull through things and only do what I really want to do and what flows in the direction our family is heading. It's all about figuring out what you want out of life. I don't struggle with a lack of motivation. Most times, the "struggle" (for lack of a better word), for me, is deciding what is priority and making decisions with that in mind.

Simplifying could also mean passing off current tasks to someone else and focusing my time on the really important things. In the past I have had opportunity to let someone else look after my kids for a couple days a week so I can work on my business...but when I stopped to think it over, I realized that's not really what I want to do with my time. I could just hire someone to do my sewing for me and spend that time with my kids. Now I'm becoming more efficient with my house cleaning and potentially hiring someone to come in once every other week to deep clean. This works for me because I don't get the deep cleaning done very often by myself and I get frustrated looking at the grime. So getting help with the cleaning = more time for blogging/business/creativity, happier mommy, cleaner house, more time with kids, happier kids. That's quite a return for very little investment.

I am still trying to put the puzzle pieces together that make my life run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. I feel like I'm far from it though...and that's ok. Because that's the third thing...

I've come to terms with the fact that everything is a process. My husband has rubbed off on me - he is a man who understands the process and that important things take time. It is OK to not get it ALL done RIGHT NOW. It is perfectly fine to work on some things little by little. One way is to alternate larger projects with smaller ones. The small ones (like party-planning) get finished quickly and give me the sense of accomplishment which motivates me to move on to the next small thing. The large projects (like saving money) take longer and stretch me to relax while I work. To focus on consistency and to work steadily and precisely until the end result is accomplished. Parenting is one of those larger "projects".

So, for those of you who asked..this is how I get it done. And no, I don't get it all finished, I don't do it all...and I don't want to do it all. I just want to do my best with what I have been given and where I'm at in my life and my understanding.


1) I cannot do it ALL (I don't need to prove anything)
2) Fine-tune my standards (what do I want out of life?)
3) Everything is a process (focus on consistency)

Now I'm going to go clean my house....well...some of it. ;)

♥ Estelle

1 comment:

Debbie said...


I must learn these as wel