I (re)learned something interesting a few nights ago. I was feeling a bit down because I didn’t feel like I’d accomplished much that day. For example, here is my “chore list” (More on that in a future post):
Mind you, this was part way through the week and I hadn’t done a single thing on that list. Oy. So, I decided to tackle the monster that had been mocking me for weeks: my filing.
The folders are my filing cabinet, as it were. The shoebox is a future project, and the top drawer and the pile in front were what needed to be sorted. I’d been putting it off because I was certain it would take forever and I’m not really fond of filing. (In fact, I took the picture because I planned to write a post about my fight with filing and filing systems. I probably still will at some point.)
But I needed to do something to feel like I’d actually accomplished something. So I set the timer on my phone for 15 minutes, turned up some tunes, and had at it. I promised myself that whatever was done in that 15 minutes, that would be good enough and I would be done for the day.
This was how it looked 13.5 minutes later.
I filed everything and cleaned up in less than that 15 minutes. I’d been putting this off for WEEKS because I thought it was going to take so long and I finished it in less than 15 minutes.
I think everyone, not just people with depression or another mental illness, tend to blow a task out of proportion. We look at something and imagine that it’s going to be so much more difficult than it actually is. But I have noticed that I tend to do this a bit more since my depression really hit. I already know I’m depleted in energy, and so things seem just that much harder. And so they get put off, again and again. But really, they’re a simple job and if I would just sit down and do it, it would be done.
Was it a silly little thing in the grand scheme of things? Yes. Did I still blow it out of proportion and make it more difficult in my head than it was? Yes. Will I do it again? Probably. But maybe the next time I assume something is going to be too hard or take too long and I want to put it off, I’ll remember my 13.5 minute filing job and sit down and get to work. Who knows? Maybe I’ll surprise myself again with how little time and effort something takes.