Do you ever find yourself wandering the house wondering what you’re supposed to be doing despite having a to-do list a mile long? Or scrolling on your phone “for a minute” but more than a minute passes and you don’t know how to get started again? Or you decide that today is the day you’re going to get into that great routine but then… all of the things happen and you fall into bed that night without much to show for it?
I can answer yes to all of that and maybe you can, too.
The two most helpful ways I combat these moments, is to remind myself to 1.) tackle the task at hand and 2.) to strive for progress over perfection.
I literally ask myself, what is the task at hand? Not, what should the task at hand be on an ideal day but what is the task at hand right now. And then I do it. I tackle the task at hand and I remind myself that it doesn’t have to be pretty or perfect. My goal is to make progress by taking this small step in the right direction.
I often find that the task at hand is really obvious. Usually if I notice something immediately after I ask myself about the task at hand, I do that, especially if I want to avoid it. It never fails – the second I complete the task at hand, I am ready to look for the next task at hand.
For example, this week is more busy than usual so today I didn't feel like I could look at any of my to-do lists. In the past, that would have meant I would avoid doing anything and by the end of the day I would be frustrated by my lack of productivity. However, today I told myself I didn't have to cross anything off of lists, but I needed to be diligent about the tasks at hand as they presented themselves.
While the boys played peacefully together for a few minutes, instead of zoning out, I remembered I still needed to switch out some of their clothes for winter. I took a couple minutes to round up those clothes and I couldn't even find the bin they go in but I stacked them neatly in an unused drawer. I tackled the task at hand and it wasn't perfect but it brought more peace and order to my day.
Try it. The next time you are wandering the house aimlessly or find yourself scrolling on your phone as a distraction, ask yourself what is the task at hand right now and then do it.
Let's continue to tackle the task at hand and strive for progress over perfection. The work that has been placed before us is worthwhile.