Messes or Meals

Saturday mornings my wife and I have oatmeal and a muffin for breakfast. Sometimes I cook, sometimes she does.

This morning, I was working in my office so Shirley said she'd cook. After a period of time, I figured breakfast would be about ready and I went to the kitchen to check.

The oatmeal was out; the pan was out; but Shirley was elbow deep in cleaning the refrigerator. She was getting something out to cook with and discovered a spill. Cans and bottles and tortillas littered the countertop after having been cleaned.

I said: "I'll cook while you clean" and started the oatmeal.

Addiction to Clean Up

Has that ever happened to you? Right in the middle of doing something important--making a meal, working on a project, or whatever--you uncover a problem and feel compelled to fix it. It's happened to me.

It's an addiction.

It's exciting. It's so much easier to fix a problem than it is to finish an important project. It takes less time and gives you the same rush of completion.

But like any addict, the easiest way to change is to wean yourself off the drug. My mom quit smoking that way...smoking fewer and fewer cigarettes each day until she just stopped. Quitting cold turkey may be too hard.

Make A Meal

My job has its fair share of messes to clean up. Some I create; some are created by others. But this year I'm keeping a journal of the important things I accomplish each day. I'm making time to make a "meal" each day, not just clean up the messes. I'm going to hold myself accountable for achieving important things, not just the urgent.

Otherwise this year will be a lot like last year: crisis management with a dollop of progress.

Are you too busy cleaning up the messes to make a meal that feeds the world? I have been, but that's going to change. What about you?

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