I have discovered over many years that perfection is overrated.
Having said that, there are some areas of life where my control freak runs amok. Folding towels and linen for example. There is no quarter given, they must be folded just so! And it gives me great pleasure to see them tidily folded in neat piles every time I open the door to my tiny linen cupboard.
The trick is to choose where you let your control freak loose, when to expend that precious energy.
I’ve had a couple of new clients recently who have been trying really hard to keep their kids Lego sorted by colour or type. They love the way it looks and they say it helps their child to build the things they want, especially if they have kit sets.
The problem? Time.
Our energy and time is finite. We all know about prioritising tasks, we do it naturally every day when we choose what we do from moment to moment. Make the bed or check your phone? Turn on the TV or do the dishes?
Kids don’t put Lego back in the right place. They’re playing, racing from one fun thing to another. Or they’re hungry or tired or have to go to soccer. So the Lego is left on the floor or scooped up higgledy-piggledy.
Then mum or dad have to find the time to start all over again and separate all the different pieces. Over and over again.
I have heard of Lego enthusiasts who are old enough and passionate enough to keep their equipment beautifully ordered in their playroom or bedroom. But this is not common or it lasts about a week.
What is important to you? Having fun? Getting the essentials done? Prioritising your time is deciding what is important to you and putting it into action.
Towels for example. I only have a small number, and automatically fold them in a style that makes me happy when I look at them piled in the cupboard. They’re not perfect, but I’ve compromised with the time I have. So they are good enough.
If you are racing to get your kids to class, after school activities, your mum’s place, to bed and you’re longing for the couch and that glass of wine, or de-stressing with a good book, or just getting the laundry done, why force yourself to organise something that is very simply tidied away in a box or basket until the next playtime?
Unless of course, you absolutely freaking love it! If Lego sorting is therapy for your nerves, lining up Squishies in rainbow colours puts you in your happy place, folding every single pair of socks and underpants in the house blisses you out…
Then go for it! You’ve just made a decision to prioritise your time.
But don’t beat yourself up if you can’t. A friend’s colour coded book case might be their delight, and may be impossible for you if your little guy likes to use them to build ramps for his Transformers.
You choose how to use your time. Be smart and prioritise YOUR wellbeing, whatever that means to you.