Sunday, August 8, 2010

Making a Genuine Effort is Being a Superhero

Hello, I'm Jeanne & I'm a recovering perfectionist. Hi Jeanne!

Anyone who knows me may not believe the above statement...for several reasons.  The biggest one is that my life has never seemed organized and orderly. I'm ambitious.  I set high & lofty to do list is a mile long, my life list includes items like "be an iron man triathlete" & "hike the Appalachian trail" & "publish my memoir".  I throw caution to the wind and don't really worry about the fact that I have no arts background -- but I want to go back to school for a Fine Arts Degree.

I get really excited about things really quickly. My mind fast forwards through several steps and I have another time consuming goal on my to do list. 

I'm a huge fan of putting yourself out there.  You wouldn't have most of your life experiences if you didn't say things like "why not?" or "what if?" or "let's see what happens when..."or "I'm going to try...My problem is I spend so much time thinking about these things, that I'm way too distracted to wipe my counters down or make the effort to put all the toys in the basket each day. It's a bad combination because I'm too much of a perfectionist to not verbally berate myself for not keeping a clean house.

I read an article on Adult ADD a few months ago.  I read the opening and the first of 10 symptoms.  The first was "excessively long to-do lists".  I read it out loud to my husband and he confirmed that was me.  I skipped forward and read the recommendation to make several to-do lists: a daily one, a new daily one, & a long term one.  So I wrote out my morning & evening routine. I put everything on that I ideally would get done every day.  I put "clean kitchen" in the evening routine & "take vitamins" in the morning one.  I put everything on including: coffee, brush teeth, feed baby, dress Lily, etc. 

I made them pretty colors and printed out my two pretty lists and hung them up in my kitchen. This has worked wonders for me.  I don't look at my daily lists every day, nor do I accomplish every task every day.  The magic is, that I no longer get angry at myself for not keeping things up.  I usually get most of what needs to get done most of the time...which a LOT more than I used to. I still get annoyed at my tolerance for clutter, but I clear out the clutter about once a day now instead of watching it pile up. 


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