Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cleaning up the To-Do List: A Tale of Two Light Fixtures

See that light fixture? It's the one I had in my home office until this morning. Unfortunately, at some point it became next to impossible to get the screws to line up, so the cover often hung down, leaving the exposed bulb - as you can see. This did not exactly create the ambiance I wanted in my office.

See this new light fixture? I bought it a few days ago. My wonderful handyman installed it this morning. It's much prettier, and it provides better light. My office feels good again.

How long did "replace office light fixture" sit on my to-do list? Let's not talk about that. And it wasn't as though this was a difficult task. I knew exactly what store I wanted to buy the fixture from, and I knew who to call for installation. The store isn't in town, but it's only a 35-minute drive away.

But whatever it was that had me procrastinating about some minor home projects, I seem to be crossing them off my list quite rapidly now.

The garage door that didn't go down when I clicked the remote - except in rainy weather, for some unknown reason - now has a new opener mechanism that works just fine. No more getting out of the car and walking into the garage to close the darn door.

And I've got an appointment for this weekend to drop off the household hazardous waste items (cleaning products, yard care products, etc.) that currently reside in my garage.

Now I have some momentum, and I want to get all my lingering mini-projects done. Any time now I might actually get a couple nice nightstands, sell a few things on craigslist, and finish my document scanning project.

What a difference it made once I decided to really focus on getting these projects done, one step at a time! And how much better things are for having gotten them done!


Marcie Lovett said...

Beautiful light fixture, Jeri! I have to laugh, because I bought a fixture for my dining room and it took almost three years to get it installed. Yes, it sat on the dining floor for that entire time. I also found that I got motivated to get lingering projects done after I had the electrician come over. I'm still checking things off the list.

David said...

Sometimes it is good to spend a day on those "little" projects that keep getting put off - to focus on them and not on the big projects that are always with us.

Congratulations on the new light fixture! Looks nice.

Marilyn said...

Beautiful fixture! How fortunate you are to have a handy man to install it for you too. It is so nice not to have to do everything ourselves!

newleafnews said...

I call these "tolerations" - those things that, like a stone in your shoe, make every step less pleasant but that we often put up with anyway. I love your description of how tackling one of them seemed to unhook a whole log-jam of projects.

Cynthia Friedlob said...

Lovely fixture! Isn't it amazing that we will postpone taking care of small projects and yet completing them so often makes life considerably more pleasant? I like the label from newleafnews: "tolerations." It isn't a pretty picture when we tolerate too much for too long, so I think I'd better get to work on some of my tolerations!

Jeri Dansky said...

Thank you, everyone, for the thoughtful comments. I'm glad everyone likes my new light fixture - and it's nice to hear how many people relate to my situation.

Cynthia, I agree that "tolerations" is a great label for this sort of thing!

Marilyn, if I didn't have a good handyman, there are many things that would never get done around my house. I simply have no talent for doing home repairs.

Timo said...

I tend to tackle at least one of these low priority tasks on daily basis. I have realized that longer time it hangs on my todo-list, the more clutter (thoughts) it creates because I keep thinking of it all the time. The faster it's done, the sooner I can concentrate on other things.

Also, I have scheduled a "maintenance day" (one day of the week, Sundays) for these tasks so that I can batch them and accomplish as much as possible on a certain day.

Janet Barclay said...

I love Timo's practice of dealing with one low priority task every day. It sounds like a great way to keep them from accumulating to the point where we're too overwhelmed to tackle any of them!

And I also know from experience that once you get started, you're motivated to do even more.

Great post!