I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. Its one of the faults in my thinking (I've read my CBT self-help book so I know this kind of thing). It means that I like perfection, want to be the best and only the best, and if any imperfection sneaks in, I tend to think its ruined everything.
In terms of my approach to work, the house etc. it just tends to increase my procrastination. If I'm going to do anything I want to do the whole thing, there and then; I like to feel I can do a massive job, a big noticeable task that will give me a real sense of achievement and hopefully be appreciated by everyone else. Not some minor, every day task that feels like just the tip of the big lurking iceberg.
So I don't sit down and write any of my novel because I might only have time to do 100 words and what I'd really like is to solve all the plot glitches and write at least 3 chapters. Why not wait until I can set aside a whole morning to the task, when I'm feeling fresh and full of inspiration? Of course the problem is I never actually achieve the latter, wherease if I actually did the former twice a week then by the end of the year I'd have written over 10,000 words. Maths and reality suggest this would be more promising approach, and yet than annoying little bit in my brain stops me.
In terms of jobs around the house I have to confess I take a certain satisfaction from taking a real mess and transforming it into beauty. (I blame it on too much childhood reading of The Secret Garden). In a perverse way I quite like it when the house is really untidy, the washing overflowing, and everything needs sorting and I know I can take a day to transform it. It is sort of comforting to reach a low point and know that the only way is up. I suppose I like to see where I've been. So much more rewarding than the approach I know I should do - a bit of dusting each day, a load of washing, picking up a few things as I go round. I know, deep down, that this is the answer, that it would save me having to have those awful late night cleaning sessions before the in-laws come, or panicking when someone unexpectedly calls round. But it would still take a lot of my time, and a lot of ongoing will power, and who would notice??
But enough is enough, and so I am starting to change my thinking, to adjust to a new way of looking at things. I am coming to realise that the all out battles often leave me feeling exhausted, frustrated and no closer to winning the war. So I'm trying to adopt the long term trategy. I like to think of it as "creeping death" (where death is a good thing you understand, in terms of the clutter in my house and my in-tray).
Every toy I pick up, every piece of clothing that goes through the wash, every item that goes to the charity shop, every little phone call I finally get round to making, however small, is a point scored for me, a cause for a small inward celebration; they are all invading the enemy's territory, undermining its foundations, and bringing my victory a little nearer.