Tuesday, 8 July 2014

An Everyday Story of Procrastination

Here's a tale.  Once upon a time, our cooker hood extractor went pop and ceased to work. I can't be exact as to how long ago this was as neither of us can remember, our best guess is two years ago.  How time flies when you become accustomed to ignoring an issue, goal or problem.

It was on my list to call someone but somehow I never got round to it.  We got used to cooking without it and using a secondary extractor fan at the side of the kitchen.

We assumed it was something highly technical that required expertise and would, most likely, cost money.  Therefore we did nothing.


Recently - as if driven by an unseen force, I asked our concierge for advice. He happily came to have a look.  He checked the hood with a fancy gadget and advised that the unit was not receiving any electrical current, he gave me the number of an electrician.  About a week later (after two years it didn't feel that urgent) I called the electrician.  He advised me of his call out charge and recommended that before we book him I check for a plug behind the kitchen panel.

I left it another week for good measure, then last week, armed with a screwdriver, I removed the panel above the cooker hood.  Sure enough, there was a plug in a socket. We replaced the fuse and guess what?  The cooker hood whirred into life and worked beautifully.

What have I learned - My Top Tips
1. When pursuing a goal, or tackling an issue, be curious.  Don't assume that it will be too complex, specialised or expensive. Try making a list of the assumptions you have made, how you could challenge them?
2. Be aware of your psychological response and think of ways you could be more flexible?
3. Where could you go for support and advice?  Firstly, there is a wealth of information on the internet.  Secondly,  people are often happy to advise or provide practical tips on how to approach your issue.  This advice could make all the difference.  Focus on someone who may have the specialist knowledge or advice.
4. You may well find you have some internal dialogue going on.  For example:
  • "you're no good at DIY"
  • "It's electrical - it's bound to be complex and expensive"
  • "we'll end up needing a whole new kitchen (do you ever catastrophise?)"
If you can realise that this dialogue has been created by your mind and take some action anyway you might be surprised what you learn.
Try this.

Think about a minor issue in your life.  Something you've been putting off.  A niggle. Look at the list of top tips above.  What action could you take to become unstuck?  Try experimenting.

Go on - how could you fix your cooker hood?


Ross

PS By the way - the name of the Electrical Contractor who gave me the top tip was Central Appliances, 30 Baker Street, 01273 687637