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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.
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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.

       

       

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      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 21, 2021

      The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

      The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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      No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

      Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

      Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

      A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

      Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

      In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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      From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

      A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

      For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

      This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

      The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

      That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

      Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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      The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

      Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

      But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

      The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

      The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

      A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

      For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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      But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

      If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

      For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

      These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

      For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

      How to Make a Reminder Works for You

      Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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      Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

      Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

      My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

      Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

      I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

      More on Building Habits

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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      Reference

      [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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