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You Will Be Shocked! Unfinished Home Repairs are Huge Time Wasters.

You Will Be Shocked! Unfinished Home Repairs are Huge Time Wasters.

Do you realize how much time you waste every day subconsciously thinking about unfinished tasks like home repairs?

Home repairs are unbelievable time wasters. Unfinished home repairs circle into your conscious awareness every single day and they drain you of energy. They crush your creativity. And, they even affect your self-esteem. They are a continual source of distraction, disorganization, frustration, irritation, procrastination and guilt.

When you see the photos of broken, damaged, dirty and unfinished repairs and tasks that need to be tended to, your brain lasers in on these visual inputs and immediately is consciously aware of the need that each one of these repairs needs to be fixed.  And, because your brain does not like gaps or internal conflict, your brain wants you to fix every repair – right now! Immediately a bit of adrenalin is released into your body and you feel that tiny bit of personal disappointment that something is physically broken in your life.

Therefore, regardless of what you would like to be thinking about at that moment and whatever you were planning on taking action on at your home, when you walk into your kitchen and flip the light switch on each morning only to find two of the three light bulbs in the ceiling fixture burned out, your brain not only experiences that instant moment of frustration that the burned out light bulbs need to be repaired, but you also experience the accompanying sense of guilt because you have not taken the five minutes to change the light bulbs that have been burned out for the last six weeks.

Here is a sample list of common home repairs and tasks:

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  • Burned out light bulbs of all shapes and sizes – inside and outside
  • Screen door needs replacing
  • Broken or cracked windows
  • Leaky faucets
  • Any type of plumbing problems
  • Unfinished yard work
  • Mowing
  • Gardening
  • Mulching
  • Driveway issues
  • Tiny paint dings and sheet rock repairs
  • Exposed wires
  • Light fixtures and lamps that need rewiring
  • Pictures that need to be hung on the wall
  • Interior doors that don’t open and close properly
  • Kitchen cabinets that are off their hinges
  • Stains on carpets and repairs to flooring
  • Exterior bricks or steps that need to be replaced
  • Caulking
  • Roofing
  • Cleaning out the gutters
  • Water leaks
  • Broken tree limbs outside
  • Dead bugs in ceiling light fixtures
  • Replacing heat and air filters
  • Checking smoke alarm batteries
  • Getting rid of physical clutter
  • Deep cleaning your home
  • Storing broken items you know can’t be repaired and you know need to be thrown away

Home Repairs and Unfinished Tasks are Time Wasters

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    The Outcome is Stress, Anxiety and Distraction

    As a time management-thought leader, strategist and coach I am often asked what are some of the first action steps a person can take to improve their personal time management.

    Time management action steps:

    1. Set Aside Time in Your Schedule

    Set a time in your schedule to create a complete inventory of every single home repair and unfinished task in your life. Creating a written list allows your subconscious mind to stop the constant reminders of every single thing that needs to be done in your life. By creating a list and placing the list in a safe location your brain will not have to expend time wasting energy and attention trying to remind you to complete these repairs.

    2. Become Aware of the Cost

    Choose to become consciously aware of the true cost of unfinished home repairs. Awareness is always the beginning to improvement.

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    3. Relax.

    This is a difficult action. Your brain really does want you to fix every repair and complete every unfinished task right now. Internally you realize that working through a list will take time and money. Give yourself permission to rank these tasks in order of priority. Recognize that relaxing should lead to abandonment of the need to get your home and your life in order.

    4. Create a Timeline

    Create a realistic timeline of when you will take action on the items on your list.

    5. Break Up Large Projects

    Break large projects into smaller action steps.

    6. Commit

    Make a commitment to yourself to do what you said you will do.

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    7. Ask for Help

    Ask someone to help you accomplish the tasks. As in many things in life fellowship and accountability are exponential support to decreasing the amount of time you will be required to complete each task

    8. Mark it Off

    Seriously, mark each task off your list as you complete them. Marking a task off your list releases dopamine into your system and creates that wonderful feeling of accomplishment and motivation.

    9. Take Action

    The final action step is don’t just read this article. Choose to take action in your own life.

    Conclusion: A Single Burned Out Light Bulb 

    Every single burned out light bulb in your home is robbing your energy, your attention, your creativity, your peace, your sense of balance…and, your time.

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    Home Repair CheckList
      Home Repair Checklist

      I would like each one of you reading this article to write down how many home repairs you need to fix, then leave a comment of the actual number of home repairs and unfinished tasks you were able to list. And, the associated feelings and emotions you experienced as you created your home repair list.

      It is time to take action.

       

       

      Featured photo credit: burnt out flame bulb / wintersoul1 via flic.kr

      More by this author

      Allyson Lewis

      Allyson is a nationally acclaimed author, motivator, speaker, time management, productivity strategist, and executive coach.

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      Last Updated on April 19, 2021

      The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

      The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

      Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

      The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

      Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

      In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

      When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

      Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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      1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

      When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

      As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

      That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

      The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

      What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

      Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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      There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

      So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

      2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

      When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

      No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

      3. Move Your Body

      A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

      It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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      So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

      4. Connect With Another Person

      Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

      One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

      Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

      5. Use Your Imagination

      When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

      That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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      And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

      Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

      Final Thoughts

      Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

      Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

      More on the Importance of Taking a Break

      Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

      Reference

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