“I’m late! I’m late for a very important date!”
I’ve got a problem. I struggle to relax and enjoy myself when I’m at home because I see flaws everywhere.
The washing needs folding, the lawns need mowing, the dishes need cleaning, there’s dog drool on the couch! So what do I do? I clean it, I fix it, I tidy it up. But it’s a never ending battle. I want my house to look like a glossy home decor magazine, but unless I get a cleaner, a cook and a gardener, I will never obtain that ridiculous level of perfection I want.
I think “once I’ve finished tidying up, then I can relax and do what I want” but life doesn’t work like that. So I’m forever buzzing around, like the White Rabbit, checking my watch and fretting as I become more agitated at the mountains of junk that seem to pile on our coffee table. If it’s not the house it’s guilt about other things “I should go to the bank, I should go for a run, I should call my friend, I should put down this chocolate bar, I should start saving money…”
Down the Rabbit Hole
Before you know it you’ve stumbled down and fallen head first into the rabbit hole.
Living by such impossible standards never ends well. Frustration spills over and you find yourself either erupting in a full blown meltdown or muttering under your breath as resentment simmers away in your belly.
The Crafty Rabbit Way
So how can you solve this?
First of all…SLOW DOWN. There’s no fire. No one’s going to die if you leave those dishes for the evening or wash the car tomorrow instead of RIGHT NOW. The best way to curb your inner perfectionist is to put down that broom! You heard me. It doesn’t mean you have to live in squalor, but a bit of mess is a-o-k.
Here are a few simple ways you can retrain your brain:
- At the end of the day take stock of what you have achieved instead of what you haven’t. When you do this you realize you’ve usually accomplished quite a lot.
- Forgive yourself for not doing it all – you’re only human
- Stop using the ‘S’ word (should), it’s unhelpful, replace it with something else like “I would feel really good if I could finish my taxes today”
- If you absolutely cannot cope with the mess, then clear one area at a time, say the kitchen, then leave the rest for the next day
Right now I’m looking at piles of junk on my desk, but I’m not going to straighten it or fret about it, because I would rather write this blog post. I rarely put fun before housework, but I’m trying to change that because life’s too short.
Do you have any helpful tips or suggestions for combating perfectionism at home? Please, post your comments below.