Doing the dishes sucks. It’s never been my favorite chore.
My mom made my brother and I do the dishes as kids. We’d have the duty for a week at a time. After dinner, we were expected to get the dishes done no matter what. I remember how angry I’d get when I heard my brother outside with our friends, playing and having a good time while I was stuck inside doing the dishes. Those days were the worst.
When I got married, I didn’t have a clue about cooking. I could make the basics, but I never liked to do it. Because of all that time spent with my hands in dishwater, I made a deal with my wife that if she did the cooking, I’d do all the dishes. It’s an arrangement that’s worked pretty good for over twenty years now.
The huge pile of dishes after a big meal seems daunting. It’s disheartening. How do I get them all done?
One. Dish. At a time.
You know what, that’s an extremely valuable lesson.
Think about it. When faced with a difficult task, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. When that giant project looms large, it’s hard to focus because all your attention is directed towards the overall assignment.
However, if you take one task at a time; one small victory after another, you will create success.
That pile of dishes goes away one dish, one glass, one pan at a time. Soon enough, that insurmountable counter full of dishes disappears and the task is over.
Difficult tasks can be tackled with the same mindset.
When writing a novel, it can be horrifying when you think about all those words you need to write. The blank page is every bit as scary as a monster pile of dishes. But adding one word at a time, you will get there. Soon they form sentences, then paragraphs, and those turn into pages. Before long, you’ll have a book. All it takes is to work on one small task at a time.
All those years of grumbling about dishes and soaking my hands in nasty water has led me to this conclusion: anything can be accomplished if you focus on doing all the small things needed to finish the monumental task ahead.
Now if you’ll excuse, my sink is full. I’ve got work to do.