Tuesday, March 23, 2010

15 min of Focus

You guys really rock! The comments on yesterday's post, so helpful. Obviously I am not the only one that feels this way sometimes and they all got me thinking.

Perfectionism in me will not go away, I know this. I need to find a better way yo control it, instead of having it control me. As much as I would like to be like Shell and forget it and go to bed, I than wouldn't sleep knowing I left something half done, or unfinished.

So I started pondering (after I cancelled a playdate) and wondering what I needed to do. I think a big part of my problem is focus. Life will only feel like a never ending hamster wheel if I let it.

One of the biggest problems I struggle with since becoming a stay at home mom is the feeling of accomplishment and a job done that you get at work. When I worked at the end of the day I had something to show for it. A completed project, a full surgery schedule, finalized charts. Those were all things that when i was done, they were DONE. As a stay at home mom I won't reap the rewards of my job on a daily basis, or sometimes even weekly. Raising people is a lifetime commitment and the rewards come in bits and spurts throughout that. When I first had my son I was at a moms club get together and I introduced myself as "Melissa, I used to work ______ and do this. Now I stay at home and don't accomplish anything." A "experienced" mom said to me. "You accomplish a lot everyday you just don't always see the results." She's right, I do accomplish a lot and I am spending too much time focusing on what I am not.

Erin said she tackles things in increments, so you have "Little buckets instead of big pools of chores" and it got me thinking. Heather does this great little twitter game with Beth where they give each other time limits to complete tasks. 15 min clean kitchen GO! 30 min vacuum house Go! So after reading Erin's comment and thinking the above I got this idea. A big part of my problem is focus. I start something and glance and something else, drop what I'm doing and look at that...so I end up with a hundred tabs open on my browser and half started projects all over the house. I live in a hundred year old house with two kids, a cat and husband. There will ALWAYS be something else to fix, do clean. As soon as the laundry is put away there is more to do, it's life. It' won't change I need to.

So armed with these thoughts in my head I picked up a stop watch. It's a tactic I use very successfully with my kids all the time. You have X amount of minutes to clean up this room, when the time goes off you get TV time and I get all the toys that aren't put away. It works. I haven't taken a toy away from them since the first time we did it. Maybe I should try it on me. 15min, take the forgotten load of laundry upstairs, put it away and straighten my room. When the timer goes off I'm done. I did it I had time to spare. I had missed "me time" in the morning. Time to sit and think and ponder, read, etc because I was running around trying to find my husbands badge so he could get into work. So I set the timer and sat down. 15min for me. The first thing I opened was this book. The page I was on had this quote:

My job is to take care of the possible and trust God with the impossible.

Timely huh?

It worked, mostly. Taken 15 min for me while the kids were up and I was overwhelmed was hard and I only actually took like 10, but it was enough to refresh me. I worked for me all day. The house got tided and I didn't feel so far behind.

So we'll see how long that lasts and if it helps. It's at least helped a lot with perspective. The mountain isn't that hard to climb if you start with one small step at a time.


Unknown said...

What a great idea and a great way to proceed. I hope this helps you feel more centered and a little less overwhelmed. I do something similar- I give myself x amount of time to work on one thing, and I always try to give myself a reward! Now, that doesn't always happen but my reward right now is catching up on my reader!

Kitchen Belleicious said...

Love love love your blog. Honestly, I felt like we are long lost friends with some of the things you said in your post above. First of all the only thing we all can do is trust God and I struggle with that everyday! Secondly, I quit my corporate job last year to stay at home with my son and I know what you mean about having accomplished something at the end of the day. I guess that is why I started my blog to have something to push me. ANyway, found you thru SITS and so glad I did. Would love for you to come visit if you get the chance! Have a blessed night! XOXO http://kitchenbelleicious.blogspot.com

Gretchen said...

Good Luck! You'll do great!!!

Erin said...

Yay! I'm so glad I was able to help you. I struggle with focus too. Right now I am thinking, I should be writing tomorrow's post, but let me just check one more blog....but then there's that laundry that needs folding. It never ends!

Maggi said...

Focus is definitely a hot commodity. Sounds like you're on the right track, good luck!