Several years ago, a friend of mine recommended that I read a book entitled "Sink Reflections" by a woman who goes by FlyLady. While I haven't successfully adopted all of her suggestions (such as: there are dirty dishes in my sink right now and I'm not wearing shoes), I've still done my best to incorporate some of her basic principles in order to more successfully manage our home.
The FlyLady asserts that the primary factor underying messy and chaotic homes is not laziness, but rather perfectionism. We are so concerned about doing things "right" that it becomes overwhelming and even dehabilitating. Instead of just picking up a broom and getting started, we put off the task because we won't have time to do it all. Over and over, she promises that housework done incorrectly still blesses your family.
In general, I feel like I've been able to overcome my perfectionist "stinkin' thinkin" when it comes to housework. Particularly with little kids, I've learned to loosen my control a little bit. After all, what's the point in getting the window absolutely streak-free when little fingers are just going to smear it shortly anyway? It's far better to just work for ten minutes and do what you can.
Two weeks ago, however, I realized that my perfectionist "stinkin' thinkin'" was rearing its ugly head in other parts of my life. For months (literally), I've been planning to design a chart to help our family more consistently achieve our family goals. Because I wanted the chart to be "perfect," this simple task became overwhelming, and I procrastinated doing it. One afternoon, the absurdity of the situation finally dawned on me. While the girls were working on crafts, I grabbed a piece of paper and just did it. No computer, no clip art, not even a ruler--just some brightly colored markers on a scratch piece of paper. All in all, I think it took about two minutes to do.
Amazingly enough, this simple chart is working great. We've been much more consistent about having Family Home Evening, prayer, song, and scripture study, and the girls love marking in the squares. Because it is so simple, the chart is theirs. I don't care if they scribble all over it since it only took two minutes to make!
And so, if there's something in your life that you've been putting off doing because you might not do it right, release yourself from the burden of perfectionism and just do it!