"Sometimes it's easier to give _____ (the dog, your kids, a project, etc.) 5 minutes of your time and attention rather than deal with the 20 minutes of frustration that comes from not giving that time"
I know this isn't an earth shattering realization, but it's just so true - about so many things.
While trying to get things done this afternoon, I got frustrated with the dog for being underfoot and nipping at me every time I tried to go anywhere. I turned around and she was right behind me. I would try to head downstairs to throw laundry in and she was on my heels, nipping at my pants and charging through the door to the basement. So after at least 20 minutes of getting frustrated and yelling and not getting anything done, I stopped what I was doing. I got down on the floor with her and gave her my undivided attention for 5 whole minutes. I threw her ball, she chased it. I sat on the floor, she curled up in my lap and rolled over for a belly rub. She nipped at me, I gave her her rawhide to chew on. She just wanted to play. And after 5 minutes, she left me alone and let me do my thing.
This is so true of so many things in my life. How often does Nathaniel say "Mom, Mommy, Mom, Mommy!" and as soon as I give him the attention he's demanding he says "Um...I...uh...nothing"? He doesn't need anything or have anything specific to say. He just wants my attention. If I give it to him, instead of trying to finish the dishes, he feels justified and moves on. And I get to finish my dishes in peace.
So with that being said, I can see the same correlation in devoting my time and attention to the projects I so desperately need to get done. In the long run it will have been easier to spend 5 minutes chipping away at them than the 20 minutes needlessly spent worrying about how they're not done. Don't you think? Seems logical enough.
So that is what I learned today and what I hope to keep at the forefront of my thinking and apply regularly. Hey, it can't hurt, right?