Sunday Soliloquy – Stop Faffing!

[ so·lil·o·quy – the act of speaking one’s thoughts aloud when by oneself or regardless of any hearers ]

Last Sunday morning a good friend phoned me and opened the conversation with an imperative. “Stop me faffing!” She had a pile of things to do, you know, the usual household chores – she’s also writing a novel (for fun) at the moment. She was doing neither her chores or writing; she was doing anything but, trying to avoid the inevitable. As a good friend naturally I encouraged her to get on with her to do list by chatting to her about all sorts of rubbish for the next 45 minutes…

Know the feeling? I know I do. According to LincsGeek I am the world’s best at faffing. He says I could win faffing competitions. I am an expert at aimlessly wasting time doing useless tasks. I am most skilful at faffing when it comes to bed time – I’ll spend an hour or so sorting and tidying and moving things around – none of which need doing and for apparently no reason whatsoever.

It’s a tried and tested avoidance technique. Faffing is a great way to both look and feel busy without actually doing anything. It’s one of those things we do to avoid a specific task – or a pile of tasks – anything from the ironing to making a phone call. And sometimes we faff without even realising it. It’s all simply wasting time, dithering.

The problem with faffing is that it leads to us achieving absolutely nothing. We can spend hours and hours doing not very much at all, and at the end of a day full of faff we can end up feeling rather deflated and disappointed.

In order to be fulfilled each day we need to avoid the faffing and get on with whatever it is we’re meant to be doing. That is, we need to work out what our priorities are, and work on them. Everything else can either wait or be ignored completely. To help me do that I write lists – endless lists – and find it satisfying when I get to the end of the day and have been able to tick everything off without carrying anything over to the next day. I sleep better when everything is done. I try to keep the lists as short as possible – I write smaller daily lists from my big long master list so I am concentrating on just a few things, and that way the tasks don’t overwhelm me and it is possible to complete them all. This naturally does not work all the time and even with that I am a fantastic faffer (anyone who’s seen my twitter account can tell I know how to waste time!), but I try!

Life is all about the journey. Stop faffing and get on with it!

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