Timely Tip: Why tasks don’t always need to be done to be useful
I’ve often thought that using your time intentionally is one of the biggest life hacks because it brings an enormous amount of effectiveness for comparatively little effort. There are many ways to use time intentionally, but one of my favorites is for annoying household chores, or what might be called “life admin”. You know that boring, necessary stuff like doing dishes, folding laundry, sending files to your accountant…zzzzzzzz
When I had my first baby and the household chores had become overwhelming for my spouse and me, a good friend told me something groundbreaking. She said, “15 minutes of doing the dishes is always better than zero minutes of doing the dishes.” This was a revelation of sorts, since in my pre-baby days I had always thought that for the dishes to be done, they had to actually be done. Not so!
In the years since, I’ve discovered that there are so many things you can dedicate a specific amount of time to doing, and no harm is done if you stop when the allotted time is up (even though the task is incomplete). You simply pick it up again the next time you want to intentionally dedicate time to that thing. This brings me a sense of peace around yucky, mindless, or annoying tasks — since I know that not only will I chug through them eventually (especially if I schedule a Groove for them in advance) but that my effort in the near term was enough.
Not gonna lie: as a recovering perfectionist, seeing things this way was hard at first. But it’s been an incredibly helpful way to stop beating myself up over minor things that didn’t get completed to satisfaction, so I can save my energy for the fun stuff instead.