How to Make Things Harder and Do Nothing

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to come up with a reason to do nothing?

I’m a project person, and I can organize the simplest task into a big project that is much harder than it should be.

For example:

I can’t put the kids’ clean laundry away because their dresser is getting full and I was planning to sort through their clothes.

If I make chicken stock, then I can have soup for dinner. But since that soup requires egg yolks I should make those cookies that use the egg whites.

Before I put the groceries away I really should reorganize the pantry so it won’t be messy.

I can’t wash the white clothes because there is a washcloth with a stain that I was going to pretreat first and I haven’t done that yet.

I can’t dust because this time I was planning to dust the ceiling fan and I’ll have to get the ladder out of the laundry room and then I’ll have to move the vacuum out of the way and the ladder is hard to set up.

I can’t clean the toilet because then I’ll have to clean the other toilet.

I have a thank you letter I need to write but there are two more people I need to send a letter to also and it would be efficient to send them at the same time.

Instead of filing two papers I should wait until I have time to file the whole stack of papers.

It’s too hard to reply to that one email because my inbox is full of unanswered emails.

And my personal favorite…
I can’t wash the dishes because the sink is too full of dirty dishes.

Today I’m going to keep my work simple. Do you relate to any of these?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Yep, I thought four of those thoughts today.
    Do you think there’s a cure?

    Anna Bartlett´s last post…My Creative Space – sharpening my skills

  2. TOTALLY relate. I’m exactly the same way…

    Sarah Sarniak´s last post…Weekend Finds

  3. I do this in my mind every day! Oh to keep it simple and get something accomplished! ~Lanie

    Lanie´s last post…Ribbon Storage….

  4. I relate to all of those things! Especially about the laundry and finding time to pre-treat one stain because then it would mean I would have to pre-treat the whole stack I already have waiting for me! I get really frustrated with myself because I always get stuck in those circular loops.

  5. Sandra Gonzales says:

    I bought all this stuff to make a scrapbook and I have a pile of photos to use. Its been two years and I haven’t touch the project because I want the photos to be in chronological order.

    • WOW, my problem exactly. They say to get a shoe box for each year and sort the pictures. My kids are 37 and 32 and I have BOXES and boxes of photos and newspaper clippings etc. And for some reason I rarely wrote a date on my photos and never liked the camera date showing. Maybe I can sort them into decades instead of years?

  6. Ellen S. says:

    Wishooo…I’m glad I’m not the only one who suffers from this affliction.

  7. Wow, I completely relate! Thanks for shedding light on it, though, I’m usually not even aware that I really am making everything more difficult!

    Jess´s last post…I write because I cannot speak

  8. I could have written this post. I can organize something to death, but still not actually complete the task. Reminds me of the “If you give a mouse a cookie” book. Suppose I should get off here and put the clean sheets on my bed, huh?

  9. Michelle says:

    This is what I call my ‘dog chasing their tail’ mode! It happens more often than I would like to admit, but I am making progress task by task. Thanks for the reminder to keep trying.
    Have a wonderful day!

  10. You made me smile. How could anyone NOT relate? Well said and actually … rather inspiring.

    Now. Do I think about how inspiring being inspired is or go do something?? :)

    Anna´s last post…Finding Adventure in a Haircut

  11. OK now that’s just hilarious! YES, I can relate to every single one of those! Thanks for the reminder to just keep things simple :)

  12. Colleen says:

    OMG, I soooo relate! How about “I can’t do this load today, because the stain remover bottle says the longer you pre-treat, the more effective it is?” or “I can’t do my laundry because the laundry basket is still full of clean clothes not yet put away?”

    I’m off to dig the hole in my yard for a new clothesline, so I can no longer say I can’t do laundry for lack of a clothesline . . . .

  13. Ah yes, the story of my life :(
    Good incentive for me to just go and hang 1/2 load of wet laundry even though I need to go buy more clothespins for the rest…

  14. “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” — Voltaire.

  15. i like to call them the “untidies”. life would be soooo much better if i could just check things off my list with simplicity and ease, right? but oh how i can complicate things if they aren’t already! i try to remember that doing something is better than nothing.

    sarah´s last post…a call to affirmative action

  16. I have a huge procrasination issue. I tend to make to-do lists of things that need to be done around the house. Even going as far as to make a list for each room. Once I’ve made the lists, I decide to take a little break and then get started. Well, lets just say once I sit down, not very many items get crossed off the list!

    • Carolyn says:

      Oh my goodness – this is so ME! I, too, have a list for each room and I mark the items off as I do them, but the lists are LONG! Many of the items are home decor items such as painting, reframing photos, etc. During the day at the office, I can come up with tons of things I’d like to do at home, but in the evening when I get home, I lose all motivation. What a waste of time and effort. I should probably get back to the Flylady site and get focused.

  17. Denise C. says:

    “I can’t clean the toilet because then I’ll have to clean the other toilet.”- that is me to a tee! Our townhouse has 4, yes 4 bathrooms. 3 full & one powder room.
    I cannot just clean one, I have to do them all. It’s A LOT of work.

    • 4 bathrooms…just clean one each day :) Make a point of using one bathroom on Mon. another on Tues. etc. Each time you use the bathroom clean a little something. Straighten the counter…swish the toilet…etc. :D If you’re not familliar with flylady you can check her out at flylady.net. She helps people like me get our homes and lives under control.

      Laura

  18. marybeth @ www.babygoodbuys.com says:

    I can’t wash the dishes because the sink is too full of dirty dishes.

    I just did that one last night!!

  19. Lauri V. says:

    Oh yes, this is how I behave. Thanks for making me feel like I’m not alone. LOL! I don’t usually realize that I’m doing this until my husband comes home and starts digging in a pile of mine. He is frustrated and I wonder why I didn’t go through that pile earlier when he is standing right there! Anyone with me on that one???

    • That one happens to me all the time. I have great intentions, but make a simple task a very large project, but my very practical husband gets frustrated with it and me and starts plowing through piles, or laundry, bathrooms, sinks of dishes and makes me wonder and then I get frustrated at him because my great plan to do it myself but with a “great new system” didn’t happen.

  20. What a riot! This is so me! Great to see it and laugh and realize I should just write the one thank you note! lol.

    hillary´s last post…hillaryboucher: @jilliansdrawers where are you taking swim lessons?

  21. My husband and I were just talking about how we do this last night. This weekend we’re tackling all the little projects we’ve been putting off because we wanted to make them “more efficient.”

    Love this post!

  22. That is hysterical! I have said the same things to myself – every single thing on your list! Too funny!

    Sofia’s Ideas´s last post…5 Sofia’s Ideas on Simple Meal Planning

  23. I relate to all of those! What’s crazy is that I actually didn’t even realize I was doing that until you put it into words. I just knew that everything seemed so HARD. I have to stop doing that immediately.

    Jess @OpenlyBalanced´s last post…Ethical Eating and Rabbits

  24. carylanne says:

    Unfortunately, I can relate to ALL of them. As my husband often says, “Your are the hardest working person I know that gets very little done.” How’s that for the truth? Ouch, that hurts. Well better get started on my list.

  25. Oh. My. Goodness. I can not only relate, you just called me out with this! I am the reigning Queen of Lists, both To Do and otherwise, and not crossing things off is ALWAYS because I have to do X before I can do Y, it just makes more sense, but I don’t want to do X because it’s so time consuming/hard/unfun.

    It feels wonderful to know that I am not alone!

  26. Unfortunately, I relate to TOO many of these things! I especially relate to the drawers being too full to put away my clean clothes. I have to take exception to the filing papers thing, however – batching IS more effective than filing-as-you-go, provided you don’t leave the task for months until there’s an impossible stack. I get paid every other week, so I sit down and do the bills then, and that’s when the filing gets done.

    Erin

    Erin´s last post…When all is crumbling

  27. Well I don’t know why my toilet is dirty – I only have one.

  28. So True!! I totally relate, which is why my house looks the way it does and I look around totally bewildered as to where to even start!

    The hard part is changing and getting started. Here I go, off to try… thanks for the inspiration!

  29. Um, yeah. I could have written this post as well…when I am having these moments (which are more often than I would like to admit), I say, “I can’t get out of my own way today.” It gives me some comfort that I am not the only one! :)

    Amy´s last post…When is a carrot not a carrot?

  30. Monica D. says:

    Oh, I COMPLETELY relate! How very convicting and yet encouraging at the same time. I am going to go wash the few dishes in my sink AND start a load of whites right now!!!

    Thanks for the giggle you brought to my day :)

  31. Yup at some point in time most of those have crossed my mind.

    Rana´s last post…I Want To Know…

  32. Wow…that’s me! Have we met???

    Kimberly´s last post…Never thought we’d get "here"

  33. I just tell myself: if I don’t just DO it, no one will.
    Best to just DO IT.

    I guess it’s easier without a family though, you can’t assume someone else is going to pick up the slack.

  34. Stop reading my mind! LOL.

    I do this often, but lately it has been my #1 time and motivation killer. Some of the excuses we give ourselves are silly (pre-treating the stain: why couldn’t we treat it now and wash it in another, later load? yet there it sits) and some have merit (I can’t put up the shelf because I need to buy molly bolts). But they all seem to stop us in our tracks.

    How do we overcome this?

    Sometimes I replay the Muppet’s Dr. Teeth quote in my head, “Nuthin’ to it, but to do it!” (Maybe not the original source, but that’s who I hear.) This sometimes works, but honestly doesn’t always get me moving.

    Oh and sometimes promising myself chocolate treats for finishing something, but I’m not sure that’s a healthy habit… :)

  35. that is SO me! but now, how do we change that?

  36. Oh man…this is me. Guil-ty!

  37. hi, have we met before? i must be your twin sister:) if my husband were reading this post right now he would be running around pulling his hair out because it SO like me. i am very efficient at being unproductive!

    not sure how i came upon your blog, but i love it!

    xoxo

  38. Thank you for making me feel “normal” in my efficiency dysfunction. Sometimes normal/comfortable/habitual is our greatest enemy, isn’t it?

    But can I at least have my husband call some of you for proof that I’m not the only one?!? :)

  39. Yeah, like the others I can certainly relate to that. My current off-putting task is to make copies of digital photos to put in a photo album from a vacation I took 3 years ago. I already started the album with 35mm photos, but realize to fully-represent the vacation I will need to have copies of digital photos as well. Since my husband and I took several hundred, it’s been difficult to whittle down the best few, so I keep putting it off.

    Cindy May´s last post…Things that TV and Movies have Spoiled for Me….

  40. Shannon says:

    OMG! I almost fell out of my seat laughing – this is SO me! My husband says I’d actually get a lot more done if I’d just stop making lists. So glad to see I am not alone. Hope I can learn to “just do it” more often!

  41. Hahaha absolutely I can relate to many of those! especially the first one about not putting the kids clothes away cuz the dress is too full of clothes that I need to sort thru!
    Thanks for the smile!
    ~Christina

  42. Holy moly, that is my brain! Every day I’m thinking things like that. Thank you for the perspective! A helpful tip I recently learned is the “one minute rule”. If something can be done in a minute – do it! It helps me to just do the simple thing, and ignore the more complicated version my brain always comes up with.
    Another way to look at it… it’s perfectionism rearing its ugly head. I’m so glad I’ve learned to identify it, but geeeez will I be glad when it’s not my auto-pilot mode!

    • Oooh, I like that rule! I never do anything that takes just a minute. That is why my clutter keeps coming back. Epiphany!

      Lauri V.´s last post…Today is the day.

    • I was going to say that about us organized/project minded/creative people being such perfectionists that we ended up procrastinated with the tasks at hand. I am not sure if there will ever be a complete cure to that but I am certainly trying to beat that ugly head everyday. Some days my home is calm and tidy, other times it is in a CHAOS mode. I have learned to accept the condition (being a perfectionist) as part of my life and it is just who I am. The important thing is that I am still serving my family through my not so perfect environment!

      Jenny´s last post…My Joy

  43. This is so me! I can make a project out of anything and everything. I have to tell myself to knock it off so I can actually get something done.

  44. This is me…I try to do one thing at a time, because I know it is more efficient, but my head says “maximize your time and effort–do more in less time.” Instead, I do nothing. Instead of a little something.

  45. I had to laugh out loud reading this! It’s like you’re inside my head! that’s too funny! Today I’m going to try to avoid that pattern of thought! Thanks for bringing it to my attention!!
    Thanks for a great post!!

  46. Didn’t you know you can never do anything until you have done everything else… I was so doing the mending after your earlier post… but I first had to just tidy ALL the bookshelves in the house and put every book that was in the wrong place in the correct place… and then I packed three huge bags of cardboard for recycling – a million bazillion boxes for rainy day projects… hello we don’t exactly live in the sleet zone. So lots of good work done but absolutely NO mending. I think I have to break it down… So like your back room inspired me into action … I will just keep on reading and hope the mending get’s done… EVENTUALLY!!!

    se7en´s last post…Sunday Snippet: What Makes a Dad A Dad… And A GiveAway of Course!!!

  47. I can’t cook dinner because the kitchen is too messy.

    Yes, yes, yes.

    • I can’t cook dinner because the kitchen’s too messy. The kitchen’s too messy because the dishes are dirty. The dishes are dirty because the dishwasher is full. I can talk myself out of doing anything!

      Thanks for the posts

  48. I can SO relate! This is the ‘overthinking paralysis’ that hits me when I want to dust but then I’d need to put that away, and anyway that basket is really cluttered and shouldn’t I sort it?

    What I try to remember is, “Ok, even I just clean the tub, at least I did SOMETHING in the bathroom.” :-)

    Thanks for sharing!

  49. This really hit home! I am the type of person that if I can’t do something perfect, I can’t do it at all. At least I’m not the only one I guess. Misery loves company?!

  50. I think this is a form of brain damage, and I’ve got it! But, I’m relieved to see that I’m not the only one! I almost didn’t post this comment, because I felt I should read all the other comments first, but I don’t have time to do that right now because of all the other projects I’ve planned for myself today.

  51. Oh, boy, add me to the long que of people who can relate to this post! My word for it is “complexify” – take a simple task and twirl it until it becomes a huge, hairy deal and then, well of course, it’s too much to do now!!

    deb mattin´s last post…Cakes (While Trying to Get Inspired to Make Art)

  52. i can totally relate! i always feel that there’s too much to do. then i get overwhelmed and don’t do anything…

    pam´s last post…Vivienne Westwood Mini Melissa For Babies

  53. I didn’t know anyone else thought like this!

    I can’t sweep up the doghair until I brush the dog, but what’s the point of washing the dog because he’s going to go to the dogpark tomorrow where he’s going to get dirty again…

    Kait Palmer´s last post…My Parents with me in Spirit…or on a Sign…

    • I hear you! What is the point of dog cleaning when they just going to run wild again tomorrow??? So, best to wait… but then when do I get to it?!

      angelvalerie´s last post…the glass ceiling…

      • Wow! I really relate to this comment, and I don’t even have a dog! But it’s the same with vacuuming – it really needs to be done, but hubby is going to mow tonight and track in a bunch of grass, and then after that he’ll probably go in the shop and bring in wood shavings, so I should just wait. And then a couple days later, OH, it’s fair week and of course everything will drop dust and dirt when it gets back in the house, so why do it twice? … and I really should dust first anyway, and…

  54. So much so, it’s downright scary, LOL!!!

  55. ellen b says:

    you mean I’m not the only one who does this? whew, I can relax now! It must come from being creative, just too many “other” things that we have in our heads!

  56. Tiffany H. says:

    Oh this is a HUGE problem of mine. I’m such a perfectionist that it paralyzes me sometimes. What are we to do about this problem? Would love to hear your reply.

  57. This reminds me that I have been pretreating a stain all afternoon and still haven’t gotten around to doing the load of laundry yet.

    My mother, who also battles this, has taught me the mantra “do one thing.” Better to do something than nothing, even if it’s just the first step. If you think about the whole “project,” you’ll just put it off longer.

  58. This is the story of my LIFE!
    It really takes a lot of de-programming to get out of this vicious cycle…my husband is great at being the exact opposite. I am the one who is always working on something but seem to get nothing done…there is always more, more, more because I make it too complicated. He can look at individual tasks, make a checklist, have it done in no time flat and he is free to lounge about or take a nap…he gets 10x more work done than I do in any given time because I get so wrapped up in the perfectionism.

    Flylady (if you don’t know her you should check her out) says we can do anything for 15 minutes…and she also says that we are never behind, just jump in where you are.
    If I can keep those thoughts in mind and the stinkin’ thinkin out I actually can get something accomplished. Babysteps is the key but it is so easy to get overwhelmed or distracted!

  59. LOL! You live inside my head, don’t you…

    jill´s last post…Father’s Day

  60. Oh my goodness, have you been peeking through my windows?! I could related to almost every item in that list! My question is what to DO about it…!

    Sarah Klass´s last post…Treats for my sweets!

  61. I can’t just make dinner with what I have at home (i.e. a pantry full of staples). I really need to go to the grocery store first.

    I can’t just blog one post because I have a million ideas going round in my noggin and I want to blog them all, in a million different posts.

    I can’t just water my garden. I have to weed it, too.

    I can’t just call one grandma. They both need phone calls.

    I can’t just make one comment. I have to think of five things to include. :)

  62. Jaclyn Reynolds says:

    Yes, I totally do the same stuff to myself. Photo albums to put together, ebay items to list, painting, etc.

  63. Vanessa says:

    I’m the same way! I thought there was something wrong with me but sounds like it’s normal :)
    Thanks for your post!

  64. OH yeah, this is me ;)

  65. Work in house is always seems never ending, when I am tired at the end of day with 2 lovable but noisy kids, folding clothes or cleaning is last thing in my mind. I just want to sit in peace and not do anything. and I actually do nothing often time. I call it, lazy way to recharge yourself, it works for me.

    Zengirl @ Heart and Mind´s last post…Coming out of the shadow

  66. Hey Rachel,

    Gosh, this is so true!

    Just a quick question, are you guys gearing up for another No Spend July? I love following you on this, and I’m trying to gear up for the same thing and do it with you!

    Sharon

    Sharon´s last post…Honey, I’m still eating the emergency fund!

  67. I can completely relate! If I have to go out to return library books, first I have to record them so I can keep track of the books my daughter’s been reading, then I have to finish writing that thank you note, so I can send it while I’m out, then I have to locate the movie to return to the video store, because I wouldn’t want to be inefficient!

    Let us know how the simplifying goes!

    Holly´s last post…The Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild

  68. when you look in the mirror do you see me?

  69. I hear you!!

    Dinah´s last post…17 Months Ago…

  70. You forgot “I can’t add anything to my To Do List because I’d have to find another piece of paper to write on… in the desk I need to clean out.”

    Can SO relate to this post! I list out the individual things I need to accomplish on said To Do List – it helps me see that I am getting things accomplished, and a lot of the little things can be done by others who are home in the mornings (yes, boys and Hubby – that means YOU!). Now that school’s out and sports are over, my goal is to spend one hour each night doing the To Do’s. Seems to be working.

    WorkingMom´s last post…Home Economics 101

  71. Frankly, I’m a little creeped out . . . that was like a mirror. Thanks for being able to put it in writing so I could see how ridiculous I am . . . and thanks for all the responses so I could see that I’m not alone. :) I was afraid to read too many of them for fear I’d feel the need to read ALL of them! :) Later, though, for sure. :) My timer is on to keep me on track. ♥

  72. Ha- I relate ALL to well, my internal narrative could have said every one of those! Your temperament must be part sanguine?

    http://www.wonderwomanwannabe.com/2010/01/simple-test-to-determine-your.html

  73. You make me laugh.

  74. I hear ya! I was nodding away to your post ;)

    Meeks @ Juggling Motherhood´s last post…MUST SEE SWAGGER WAGON VIDEO…soo good!

  75. Rachel P. says:

    Oddly, I don’t have this problem. My mother likes to tell me I am a horrible multi-tasker yet I find it takes me a lot less time to get something done than her. I have the perfectionist gene, it’s just that I can get done what I can get done and feel that I at least got THAT done without worry about what I didn’t get done. It will all be accomplished in time.

  76. Monica Abel says:

    OMG I was laughing reading all of these b/c I am the same exact way. I think it is b/c I like to organize so much that everything I do is an organized mess, lol. Loved this latest post.

  77. Wow, I thought you were talking about me! Glad to know I am in good company — any ideas on how to stop doing this. I have been trying to talk myself into tackling projects by focusing on just one small part, or telling myself to just do something for 15 minutes. It works sometimes.

  78. I can help knock on item off of that list. You can freeze the egg whites to use later.

  79. OMG – I can totally relate to every one of these!

    Tina @ Ride On Toys´s last post…The Power Wheels Lil Quad – Safe And Easy To Use For Your Toddlers

  80. Don’t know how often I battle with this; wanting to complete a job in full, wanting perfection.
    I am working on letting it go; so I can actually get something done! LOL

  81. That’s me!

  82. This could be a definition for myself. “if I do this, then I must do this”…. Over time I have decided to take the advice that “it doesn’t have to be done perfectly, it just needs to be done.”

    Stephanie´s last post…New Lion

  83. thanks for summarizing what is going on in my life right now. I was wondering why I was spinning my wheels so much. thanks.

    Jena (Organizing Mommy)´s last post…How to not get scammed- hurt or disappointed

  84. I can completely relate! But here’s something that will help you with the chicken stock: I have never ever used eggs when making stock. I just use a whole chicken with some of the skin removed, carrots, salt and pepper, an onion and I believe that’s it. You can find simple recipes online for stock–no eggs required!

    • I don’t use eggs to make stock, but I have a favorite Greek soup recipe in which you add tempered egg yolks to chicken stock to make the soup richer.

  85. I think we share a brain. This is so me. One thing that helps me from time to time is to remember what a professional organizer once told me: “Done is better than perfect!” Of course, this doesn’t work for everything, but it works for a lot of tasks!

  86. Oh. Wow.
    Yep, this is me.

  87. This is pretty much EVERY second of my life. Type A handicapped for sure. Great post ;)

    Lisa Medley´s last post…Cloister Flock

  88. I’m not alone…I can relate to ALL of those!

  89. This pretty much sums up the majority of the arguments between me and my husband….

  90. OMG.. OMG.. OMG.. this is SO me! I have projects lined up and I start with one thing only to think that I should take on the other as well and then, the third and then, finally not do the original one as well.. LOL!
    Thank you for making me realize am normal and not alone!
    Blessings and best wishes.

  91. Wow, Rachel. You just hit the nail on the head with me. Every example you gave I was like “Uh-huh, yep, EXACTLY!” Thanks for writing this, makes me feel like I am not the only one out there…

    Cary´s last post…strawberry recipes

  92. Though the very last one makes me chuckle, when you’re a college student determined not to be your roommates’ maid and they refuse to clean up after themselves… it becomes a problem…

  93. We call that messy cleaning around here. When a small cleaning project ends up making a huge mess. I find those are best to avoid! lol

    Lula Lola´s last post…Edisto Part II- Hitting the Water

  94. Oh my word, that is my LIFE. I catch myself thinking that way, and then I’m defeated before I’ve even begun.

    Jeni´s last post…TTT- Things I Wish I Had in my Fridge

  95. This is EXACTLY how I think! I’m so glad it isn’t just me!

    Tiffany´s last post…Do You Love Loud GIVEAWAY-

  96. Love the post and love the comments, so maybe I should get up now.
    The truth was fun to read. I laughed and laughed.

  97. Oh ,how that sounds soo familiar.LOL
    Now that you have put it in perspective, I am going to try not to make things harder on myself.
    Thank you:-)

  98. I guess this happens to all of us once in awhile based on all the above comments so I don’t feel quite so bad. Great post and I can really relate, unfortunately lol.

  99. Melissa says:

    My hubby once asked me “why don’t you stop working on lists of work to do and do the work?” My answer was to get furious with him and basically chase him out the door on his way to work. However it wasn’t him I was mad at… it was myself because he was right… needless to say he laughed hysterically the entire way to the car.

    Have I stopped making my lists? Nope not at all because I tried it and became horribly disorganized, I function on lists its just the way I am. I do make my list before bed for the next day now, it has no more than 10 things (besides the obvious “needs” stuff) they are all 10 things I want to do that day but it won’t hurt anyone if I don’t get to it… things like dinner are not on the list, however washing all the bedding, top to bottom cleaning my living room, sorting through the kids clothes and taking out the seasonal stuff, those are perfectly acceptable. I like simple, as easy as it is for me to still try to complicate things.

    My suggestions for some things:
    Seasonal clothing still in the drawers nowhere to put the lean clothes: I put a tote next to the dryer so that as I pull the clothes out if I know it won’t be worn again before the next year it goes in the bin. so the stragglers that don’t make it into the tote are usually the ones I need to sell donate or specially pack away. I also have a large round bin for donations and a bag for stuff that needs turned into rags.

    Not washing the whole load because of one thing that needs pretreated: Pre-treat i already for one. Or try my method and keep a bucket full of water and washing soda under the laundry sink that I throw the things I “forgot to pretreat” into and do them in a different load. Most things are okay to do this way. I wash everything on cold and hang most of our clothing to dry so if something doesn’t come out its no biggie pre treat it again when you notice it didn’t come out and toss it back into the wash.

    Dishes: I hate dishes! That being said I load my dishwasher with whatever is in the sink every time I refill my coffee (its a lot trust my I run on caffeine) but that is usually just a glass or a plate here and there except directly after meals. when its full I run it. I do pots and pans by hand right after the meal or after I put the kids to bed. My dishwasher won’t clean pots and pans right but it would take me 2 hours to do everything by hand not to mention the overwhelming pile if I let it go. We have 3 kids, me & hubby, my parents and my recently separated brother all living in one big house. Thats a LOT of dishes.

    Paperwork is easy for me… hubby is responsible for anything with his name on it… that includes receipts from his purchases and his pay stubs. I do the bills which requires 4 phone calls and one errand a month same intervals every month. we deposit a set amount of $ into the bank every pay and the money is there for the bills when its needed. We use cash for everything else and have NO CREDIT CARDS!!! yes it is possible to live without them and makes you really think about that purchase before you make it because you have to have the cash in hand. As we reserve large spending for once a year that is the only month I have any real filing to do… after our tax return. I have a home journal with sheet protectors that hold the important info for everyone and other important lists and paperwork all it its own section. this keeps me from keeping too much crap I do not need. and no matter what I need or what its for its all in one binder. Just be careful with it. It does NOT leave my house unless it absolutely has to. the subsections divided and removable so if for example I need to register a kid for something I grab thier section, its tax time I remove the finance section. When we do our taxes I “clean” my binder and only keep what I absolutely have to. I figure it this way, I don’t have my own business and have NO reason to itemize my taxes so all I need in the end is the return and W-2 forms. Those go into my small file cabinet in a folder called “old tax returns” in a plain manila file folder simply marked with “taxes 20??” or whatever the year is. Easy Peasy for us.

    For the cooking I use a simple system of doubling my meat for the first 2 days and putting the leftover back to use in another meal, cooking a single meal and then a left over and then another double and then 2 days of leftovers. By leftovers I do not mean we eat meatloaf twice a week or have the exact same meal 2x in a rotation. I just mean I cook twice the ground meat I would use for taco night, take half out before the seasoning goes in and save it for lasagna or a skillet meal. same for chicken, I cook double the chicken breasts (sometimes more) and save the extra for chicken salad, enchilada, chicken Alfredo etc. the single meals are usually things like pizza (homemade usually), take-out, things we do not like to reheat like fish of any sort, hamburgers hot dogs etc. Once you get used to it the possibilities are endless and the nights where you are just reheating meat and adding the extras you knock you prep time down considerably. Just remember: DDSLDLL Its good if you shop for a week at a time and not as involved as OMAC is. It also keeps the family from getting bored with the same old stuff and the single nights give you a chance to try a new recipe or eat something fun. Other ideas are roast… use the remaining roast for beef stew or raost beef sandwiches, if you get used to it you end up finding ways to add a lil here and there and do most of your lunches. If I wanted to get real skippy I could cook the roasts in the large roaster, the ground beef in the skillet, the chicken breasts in the oven, boil a large roasting chicken on the stove top (effectively cooking the chicken for soup and casserole as well as making a good chicken stock) all at the same time in one day so all I would have to do for loser to 2 weeks is make side dishes or mix this and that. Its easy to adapt to your own family and lifestyle.

    See in some ways it is possible to be efficent and make things more simple. I also delegate chores to my 3 kids ages 8,4 and 2. I make my own natural cleaners so I don’t worry about them using them. they clean the room I am working on with me. for example the bathroom, after everyone is out of the bathroom for the morning I go in and spray it down and swish the potty (2yo thinks its a place for boats so I don’t do that in front of him) then when its ready DD (8) gets the glass cleaner and does the shower doors and mirrors and fixtures while the boys wipe down the counters and I scrub the shower and tub. they love it and its pretty funny with us all squashed into my tiny bathroom working but it gets clean and is sanitary when we are done. and what would have taken my procrastinating perfectionist butt over an hour took only 10-15 minutes (never underestimate pre-spraying the soap scum and leaving it sit through breakfast). Towels go down the laundry shoot when the bathroom is done and are my first load of the day. Laundry is the same they love to throw things down the shoot so we play laundry ball to sort the clothes into baskets and then throw those “teams” down the shoot. does some of it get mixed? yes does it matter that much? NO because i wash it all cold and I don’t buy things I don’t want the hassle of washing like dry cleaning and silk. So as long as that brand new red shirt doesn’t make it in with the lights/whites or those brand new jeans make it in with my white towels we are good. (I have occasionally done this but I generally catch it before the load starts to run) Rags are my last load always. I do not use paper towels or napkins so we have a lot of rags at the end of the day, cloth diapers too.

    I used to be the poster child for this post to the extreme but then I woke up and realized that m excuses were suffocating my family and my life!!! Hope this helps someone!!

  100. Wow, so nice to find a blogger who *gasp* thinks like me! :) Love your blog! I’m now following it on Google Reader. Thanks so much for letting me know I’m not alone and that there are ways for people like us to get things done! LOL

    Karen´s last post…Guinea Pigs Needed

  101. basically, it comes down to TOO MUCH STUFF — less things, less to look after, sort, clean or think about… get id of the stuff…

    Susan being Snippy´s last post…Odd Bits

  102. I relate to ALL of these. At home and at work.

  103. This cracked me up! I am just like that.
    -FringeGirl

  104. I could have written this! This is the kind of dynamic that paralyzes me … really good intentions, a sincere desire to do things well and make life beautiful. Can’t wait to come back when I have time and read the other comments. Thanks for this! Feel like less of an alien.

  105. Hilarious! And painfully, personally true. Every. Single. One. I wonder if there is a personality type named “The-Make-Life-Insanely-Harder-Than-It-Should-Be” type. Oh wait, maybe “perfectionist” is just short for that. Thankfully, I’m in recovery. Posts like this make me feel a little less crazy. I love your blog.

  106. yes, I most definitely relate to nearly ALL of those. Especially about not being able to put away the groceries because the pantry (or refrigerator in my case) needs to be cleaned out first and the dishes because the sink is full of dirty dishes. Ugh! I thought I was the only one who made things more difficult than they need to be.

    Heather´s last post…Dont give up on me!

  107. I love your honesty!

  108. I recently found your blog. I laughed out loud at this post! It’s so me! Glad I’m not alone!

  109. How did you get inside of my brain to figure out exactly what my problem is and write about it?? Love this post!!

  110. yes! yes! yes! but what is the cure for this problem?? I need to know!

  111. OH YES, i can relate BUT I thought I did those thing because I have ADD lol!

  112. It also sounds like a perfectionist type thing to me :-)