It’s About Time

Ruth Wong

Friday, August 27, 2004

Delaying work postpones
enjoyment, too

Do you have a home or self-improvement project you're working on? Have you let it drag on and on without bringing it to completion?

That's often the case. Although we want to see the end result, we dilly-dally because there's no urgency.

I'd like to share with you a different way of thinking about that unfinished project that might spur you on to completion. This is something I learned from a military wife who had been in her Hawaii home for six months and was frustrated because her house was still not in order.

She told me that it was the smallest house she had ever lived in, and while she had gotten rid of a container load of stuff, it was a challenge to organize and decorate each small room.

Knowing that she had three children, one of whom was an infant, I suggested that she focus on getting one room in order per month.

She replied: "I can't do one room per month. I need to do one room per week! Because we're military and stay in a location for just two or 2 1/2 years, I need to get the house in order, decorated and comfortable as soon as possible. If I take too long, we can't enjoy it before packing up to move!"

How true, I thought. The sooner we complete a project, the longer we can enjoy the benefits!

Most of us seem to think we have forever, so we take our time and work sporadically or half-heartedly. Not only is the completion delayed, our enjoyment is postponed.

I think that anticipating the enjoyment that will come from completion can spur us on and give us a sense of urgency to finish.

I can think of a number of my own projects that, when completed, will add enjoyment and pleasure to my life: painting the hall bathroom (so I can enjoy a bright, decorated space), hanging that Hawaiian quilt in the living room (so I can feel buoyed by the new look), planting more honeysuckle plants (for the pleasure of the flowers' heavenly scent) and even hemming those new pants (so I can have something new to wear).

What project have you been working on? Mastering that new computer program? Taking that cooking class? Sorting your recipes? Purging your closet? Starting an exercise program? Organizing your photos? Making that scrapbook? Planting those flowers?

I invite you to make a list of unfinished projects. Just imagine being able to enjoy the comfort, pleasure, relief or other benefit that completion will bring.

It's about time to get into gear and do it! The sooner we finish, the sooner we can begin enjoying the changes in our lives.

See you in two weeks.

"It's About Time," by Ruth Wong, owner of Organization Plus, runs the fourth Friday of each month. Contact her at "It's About Time," care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or e-mail features@starbulletin.com



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