Next January, when I'm dreading taking down my Christmas tree, would you please remind me it only took me about 15 minutes to have the tree ready to go to the basement? Seriously? I've been dreading the task all month. If I could just start the job, I knew I could get it done. I just didn't seem to have the energy to start.
One of my favorite ornaments is not really a Christmas ornament at all, but just a metal heart with Thoreau's words inscribed on it: Simplify, simplify. It spoke to me this morning as I contemplated if today would be the day to tackle the tree.
Restoring order to our living room would be a nice way to simplify things. How long could it possibly take to undecorate an average tree? And how much better would I feel knowing I finally got it done?
Once I got my complaints out of the way, confiding in a friend that I was dreading taking down the tree, I decided right then and there to get it done. I pulled up an R&B station on Pandora, and set a timer for 15 minutes. If I hadn't had to go find some tape and a tube for my garland, I would've been done in 15 minutes flat. When the tree was stripped and ready to go to the basement, I celebrated with some lemon sparkling water.
How much time and energy do we waste when we procrastinate the things we don't want to do, but need to be done? More than we should, for sure.
My timer is my secret weapon on days like today. I set it for 15 minutes, encouraging myself to get the task done quickly. I know even if it takes me longer than the set time, I will probably just power through the task and complete it once I start. Starting is the hard part, for me anyway.
So next year, feel free to tell me, any time in January, "Take the tree down already!"