Sometimes Lame Is Better Than Best

By January 26, 2011Get Inspired

My Christmas decorations just sat there, mocking me. The tree was down and my sweet, responsible husband had put everything together in one nice spot in the corner of the living room.

A simple task.
They just needed to be put in the boxes. But I didn’t do it. For two weeks they just laid there marveling at my procrastination skills and morphing into a normal part of my household scenery.

What was the problem?

I didn’t have the right boxes. Yep. That was it.

The BEST way to put away the ornaments was to use those boxes with the handy little dividers.

The BEST way to store our decorations was in soft, fresh tissue paper.

The BEST way to prepare for next year was by organizing and labeling everything as I put it away.

But after staring at “the pile” for 14 days straight, I decided that sometimes lame is better than best.

So what did I do?

I dumped everything into the box. Yep. Dumped it.

No tissue paper. No fancy boxes. No labels or organization.

And now it’s done. Mary and Joseph no longer judge me. And the world will still revolve next Christmas when I open the box and dump everything right back out.

Sometimes the BEST way is our biggest barrier to action.

Because lame, pathetic, unimpressive actions are better than staring at a pile of Christmas decorations in July.

Are you ever immobilized by wanting to do the “best” thing?

What small or “lame” action can you take today?

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37 Comments

  • Avatar Angie M says:

    All. The. Time.
    I just finished putting my decorations away yesterday…..Lame!

  • Avatar Ally says:

    Thanks, this post is perfect timing as I sit in front of a two laundry baskets of baby clothes to sort, fold, label, and get rid of… yes, they have been there for months… its just so true–so now I can only do it!

  • Avatar Becca says:

    Oh wow, yes! This is why I haven’t posted on my blog in weeks; why I haven’t started listing all my too-small-even-before-I-fell-pregnant clothes on eBay; why piles of paperwork still need to be sorted out…

    They just seem like impossibly huge tasks that cannot be done by halves. But half is far, far better than nothing at all!

  • Avatar Amy Thornton says:

    I loved this! I just put mine away (but I had myself convinced it was because I was too attached to my beautiful Nativity set to put them back in boxes!) I heard something once that I thought described me to a tee: Paralyzed Perfectionist. Now I just aim for Good Enough Gal and am pleasantly surprised if near perfection results.

  • Avatar Traci says:

    Ha! This is so me! I am always held back by needing things to be right. I think what you did is awesome … tho, I am eager to see how you feel when you pull all the stuff out next Christmas!;) Thanks for always been real!

  • Avatar Mandy says:

    Aaaahh, oh my goodness, do you suffer from perfectionism too?! It’s the WORST. I put off doing things, because I have this inner need to do stuff per.fect.ly. It drives me crazy. My house can end up in complete chaos because I can’t live up to my own perfect standards. I’m working on this though! It’s a tortured lifestyle, the perfectionist life.

  • Avatar Reba says:

    Yep. I do this too. In fact I think I might be really, really good at it. LOL
    Especially in regards to weightloss. I think, I need to join the gym and have cute workout pants and a personal trainer….*sigh*
    I have four littles, and very little money. The gym isn’t going to happen for me right now. But I’m learning to just keep making one good choice after another with what I’ve been given. It’s tough and it takes practice. But I think the reward of doing it this way, will far exceed the satisfaction brought by cute work out pants. Sometimes it might actually be about wanting cute workout pants? (or storage bins? or whatever else we think we need, besides what we’ve got?)

  • Avatar Alicia says:

    I struggle with this all the time! A messy linen closet or pantry will make me feel stressed and miserable for weeks – even months. If I think it can’t be perfect, I don’t start. When I finally break down and tackle it, I’m almost always shocked that it only took 15 mins or 30 minutes to clean it up. And “good enough” is always so much better than what I started with. Why can’t I remember this?

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Katie Orr and prerna , Kat @Inspired2Action. Kat @Inspired2Action said: I got tired of Mary and Jospeh judging me – http://ow.ly/3KxwT […]

  • Avatar Dew says:

    I have come up with a name for me of “lazy perfectionist”. Because a lot of times I will procrastinate on something because I don’t have the energy, knowledge or time to do it like I want to. So…it will sit in a big overwhelming pile utnil my wife makes me do what you did!

    -dew

  • Avatar Mindy says:

    Ummmm, did my husband ask you to post this? Because my bannister garland is still up, waiting for the pefect bin/bag/organization thing that I haven’t made time to do. And my hubby keeps saying….”So, maybe sometime we could take this garland down??”

    I’ll try to get on that today:)

  • Avatar Gabrielle says:

    Oh yes, all the time. I frequently let my desire for perfection interfere with getting something done. For example, for a month, there has been a box of little girl shoes just waiting to be sorted, sized, and put away in the attic. That would be the BEST thing to do. The lame thing would be to just put them in the attic as is. But maybe lame is the way to go. I’m in my 9th month of pregnancy with my second child, and I’ve been just a little preoccupied with baby preparations and caring for a toddler.

    Thanks for this timely reminder. I needed it!

    • Avatar Ginny says:

      9th month? Oh, honey, just getting up from a chair should make you feel accomplished! Sort those shoes when the bun in your oven goes to kindergarten!

  • Avatar Tawnya says:

    HAHA! Love it! Just packed away a pile of Christmas decorations last night that were dumped in my bedroom on the floor. I needed something to tie the garland together. And I needed the perfect box because I broke the lid of the tote from last year. Solution? ‘Fold’ the garland, set it on top of the open tote with the stockings and random odds and ends, and put it in the designated closet on the shelf. All done! Time? about 10 min only because I was also putting away the laundry that had intermingled with the Christmas stuff.

  • Avatar Ginny says:

    Thank you!! You just gave me the courage to empty my dining room table of the Christmas decorations that were waiting to waltz into a perfectly organized closet! I shoved it all in, closed the door, and, yes, it’s a mess. But, it’s a mess in an unused basement closet, not on the dining room table inches from my front door. Lame? Absolutely! But we’re eatin’ on the fancy table tonight!!

  • Avatar Marni says:

    You nailed it, “Sometimes the BEST way is our biggest barrier to action.”

    I often get thwarted in my projects simply because, “I don’t have the right tools.” Then I hear my husband say, “then use what you’ve got!” You can imagine the grumbling he receives from me when that happens. *shrugs*

    Thank you for this today – great reminder that the best is not always the best for us.

  • Avatar Andrea says:

    NICEEEEEE! I love this post because that is just what I do. I wait till everything is JUST the way I want it. But you are right, nothing gets done that way. Guess I will just stick to my lame attempts and move forward. 😉

  • Avatar lara says:

    The “best” always mocks. Glad you joined me on the lame side of things.

  • Avatar Erika says:

    I think about this principle every time I use my little battery-operated swivel sweeper, which is usually at least once a day. Before having it, I would wait forever to sweep under the table–pretty gross when one has toddlers!!! So maybe the swivel sweeper gadget doesn’t pick up absolutely every speck of dust–but my floors are a whole lot more presentable in the long run!

  • Avatar Tiffany says:

    Amen, sister! AMEN!!!! 🙂

  • I thought I was the only one. I put it away this past weekend. I would like to know why the women I live around seem to be on top of everything and I always am a bit behind. Good to know that there are other women out there like me. ~Jessica

  • Avatar Joyce says:

    This happens to me all the time. No more waiting for the “one day”s to happen. I’m adopting Nike’s Just Do It slogan for the year. =p

  • Avatar Tara says:

    I can totally relate to this! Today – I took the lame action of trying to organize 1 room in the house – best? the whole house – possible today? no. I feel better already.

  • Avatar Chelsey @ Inspired Mama says:

    This happens to me all the time, with everything! I too have just recently decided to go for it, even if it’s not the best, because at least it’s better than nothing!

  • Avatar Andrea says:

    “If something is worth doing, it is worth doing poorly”. That’s a quote that slaps procrastination and perfectionism in the face. I try to live by those words….

  • Avatar Nicole says:

    I totally agree, done is done. As long as you know you can live with it that way in a box until next year then let it be. I am getting to that point in some of my craftroom organizing. There are so many other things that call for our time. Like reading to the kids, making dinner, etc. Thanks for letting us in on your procrastination phase….

  • I once went to a presentation on overcoming procrastination and the emphasis was on letting go of perfectionism. Perfectionism can be such a huge road block to productivity, gratitude and satisfaction. I know and understand this…but it is still something I struggle with everyday.

  • Avatar candice says:

    totally spoke to my heart today.

  • This is awesome! Perfectionism can stop us dead in our tracks! I actually have a post coming out this weekend with the title When good enough is, good enough.
    Blessings!
    Bernice

  • Avatar Joe says:

    That’s by far my worst time-waster/procrastination culprit! I’m such a perfectionist… 🙂

  • Avatar Sarah says:

    So I about fell of the couch reading this. Know I’m a little late – just catching up on some reading after a tough week…
    This is EXACTLY what I struggle with – from kids’ rooms to seasonal decorations. I have LISTS of the ‘perfect’ organizational equipment and I know JUST how I want it done and absolutely CRINGE when I can’t do it that way. But I get so behind that I feel anger and depression creeping in. I can’t relax and enjoy my family, I’m on their backs or internally on my own back. My 2011 goal is to SIMPLIFY so that I can enjoy… thank you for sharing – that meant a lot to hear from a different perspective. xo

  • YES YES YES!!
    Long ago, I learned something similar from FlyLady: Don’t get Paralyzed by Perfection!! Love that term. And the concept!!

  • Avatar Laura says:

    This is the story of my life. Perfectionism leads to procrastination leads to paralysis. I sooo needed to hear this!!!

  • Avatar Rebecca Knox says:

    Yep! I needed to hear this, too! Time to clean out the fridge! And the shed…and “my” corner…and…and…and… Thanks for sharing! Very timely!

  • […] and two playdates and beautiful spring weather and my new camera to play with. So I’ve taken the “sometimes lame is better then best” approach the past two weeks by jotting down on recycled scrap paper 3-4 things I knew the kids could get […]