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