Playing in the sink: getting on with the business of getting on.

At the moment my daughter is always playing in the bathroom sink. If you pop into the bathroom you’ll be confronted with a sink full of plastic ducks, mermaids and a whale, sometimes there’s a pirate ship in there too full of pirates and princesses and at the moment, even if the sink is empty, there’s usually a row of Happyland people on either side of the taps guarding the soap.

She gets quite irritated when you pull the plug out and toss all the toys into the bath, and you’ll find it’s all been put back if you go in again later.

Arranging her toys in the sink is far more exciting than putting her shoes on, or finding her jacket or getting her pyjamas on before bed. Playing in the sink gets in the way of things that must be done. She must go to school, she needs to go to bed, we might be meant to be somewhere for a certain time – but playing in the sink is her priority.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’d rather ‘play in the sink’ than do things that need to be done. Going to the Post Office in the rain or doing accounts – or even if you’re working on a great project and you get stuck with it, or any of the myriad of things that you need to do to keep your business going or build it into something better. Doing something easy/ more fun/ distracting instead can be so easy to do – even though you know you should be getting on with the task in hand.

Sometimes playing in the sink can be a good idea. Your brain might need a bit of a break, to recharge. However, sometimes you just have to push through with what needs doing and get it finished. If you play in the sink for too long you might lose momentum, forget where you’re up to, give up….

For us, we might not have a Mam or Dad to remind us that we need to stop playing in the sink and get on with getting things done. So how do you make sure that you maintain focus and don’t end up playing in the sink when you shouldn’t be?

You could:

– have a business partner. I don’t have one of these – I imagine that this is one of the pros!

– get an accountability partner/ group of business friends and help each other stay on track

– hire a business coach to keep you moving in the right direction

– allow yourself mini playing in the sink breaks but set a timer and be strict on yourself

– let yourself play in the sink as a reward (this works for me. “If I do X then I can ___)

– go Mary Poppins: “with every job that must be done there is an element of fun, so find the fun and ‘snap’ the job’s a game” see how much you can get done in 30 minute blocks, eat a jelly bean when you finish a page of writing – if you can clap your hands and make the furniture move all the better.

 

What can you do to help you keep from playing in the sink? Please leave your comments below so everyone can benefit from your tips! 

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