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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 July 17, 2019

      The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

      The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

      What happens in our heads when we set goals?

      Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

      Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

      According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

      Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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      Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

      Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

      The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

      Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

      So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

      Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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      One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

      Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

      Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

      The Neurology of Ownership

      Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

      In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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      But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

      This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

      Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

      The Upshot for Goal-Setters

      So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

      On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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      It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

      On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

      But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

      More About Goals Setting

      Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

      Reference

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