It’s official. I am rebellious. For most of my life I never would have classified myself this way (and I’m pretty sure most other people would not either). For the most part, I feel that I meet other’s expectations in my work, and that I’m seen as responsible and dependable. This is because when I am responsible to someone else (as in an appointment or deadline) I generally do follow through.
But whenever I make an appointment or commitment with only myself, I find again and again that the rebellious part of me shows up.
Let me give you some examples:
A few years ago I committed to myself that I would do all of the laundry one day a week, on Mondays. Do you want to know how many times I actually did that? None. That’s right. I fully completed the task zero days. I tried and tried. I recommitted myself so many times. But every week, the same thing would happen; I would lack motivation to get started as early as I needed to, and I would lack motivation to follow through for the entire day. Finally, I gave up the one-day-per-week idea, and now try to do some every day (or so). It’s still far from perfect, but it’s better.
I used to enjoy reading organizing/housekeeping books, and one of these that I read was the Flylady’s book. In it, she describes a system based on routines and working for short periods of time (using the timer) to conquer the never-ending housework-type responsibilities. I got so excited when I read her suggestions, and promptly went to work to establish my routines. But after the excitement wore off, I stopped following through. Some days there was a valid reason, such as an early appointment or an interruption by my small children. But other days, there was no reason at all, except my own self not wanting to follow the routine.
As you know, I’m trying to follow David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” system. One thing that is required for his system to work is the “Weekly Review.” I had set aside Monday mornings for my this, and for about 3-4 weeks now, I’ve done it. But on this Monday, when it was time to do it, I felt the familiar resistance building up inside myself. Half of me was saying, “I have got to do this review!” while the other half was saying “I don’t wanna and I ain’t gonna!”
The first two examples (and plenty more!) have been enough to cause me to suspect that I am rebellious when it comes to deadlines and timelines that I assign for myself. But this third experience confirmed my suspicions to be true – I am definitely rebellious.
You see, time has shown me that:
- If I set a schedule for myself, I will not keep it.
- If I establish a routine, I will not follow it.
- If I write a list of 4 or 5 most important things to accomplish today, I will not do them.
Every time I decide to get organized about the stuff I need to do, I sabotage my own efforts with my rebelliousness.
This has obviously been something that I’ve been dealing with for a long time, and for the most part, I’ve been able to get along despite this personal “flaw.” But the experience with my weekly review was significant to me because I felt like doing this one thing is a major part of being able to keep my 2014 goal to manage my time better. It is such an important part of the “Getting Things Done” system. So, needless to say, I was very discouraged and unhappy with myself for failing to do it when I said that I would.
So guess what I did?
- I cried (yes, I’m serious).
- I prayed.
After this, I felt calmer, and also felt like I received a solution to this situation that fits my needs. Something simple, do-able, and it even allows for some time for me! Do you want to know what it is?
Check back tomorrow, and I will tell you!