Simple Solution to Dealing with Frustrations

What are your biggest little problems? Here is a short list of some of mine.

  • Broken tools that keep showing up
  • Unfinished projects hiding in plain sight
  • Late meals because you forgot to thaw the meat
  • Messy piles of socks and clean clothes
  • Unfinished homeschool lessons for kiddos
  • Lost keys – need I say more about that one?
  • Missed appointments…

In short, frustrations!!!

Just how do you deal with those big little things in your life? And how much simpler it would be if you weren’t bumping into the same little irritations all the time. Here is one thing that has made all the difference in how I deal with these irritations.

Make and keep a list.

That’s right, a list. Only this one is dedicated to just those little problems (that seem to keep cropping up). When I keep tripping over the kids’ shoes, trying to use the broken drill motor, deal with the fussing family, remember appointments or whatever, I write it down. I write the least amount of details to help me remember the issue. Then… in a second column, I write down possible solutions.

Here are some examples:

Frustration Solution
Keep misplacing keys Put them in the same place each time. Hook by the door or in a tray by the door.
Bathroom door sticks and creaks Determine why it sticks. Oil it or soap it?
Dog tears up trash Keep trash behind closed door
A kid doesn’t finish chores Inspect consistently; reward complete work
Tear in winter coat Make a note to get it repaired
Forget to put the trash can on curb Set a reminder on phone or note on the calendar
Drill motor still doesn’t work!! Find out if it is practical to get it repaired; discard if not
Never get my list finished Take most pressing item on your list and write it on bathroom mirror. Erase when done!
Forget to get new eyeglasses Note on the mirror – Make appointment today!

Don’t be deceived at how simple this exercise is. Listing the irritations and then listing possible solutions is probably the single most useful thing I have discovered in ridding my life of these “big littles”. Somehow just the very act of writing the irritation down seems to stimulate the mind to solve it. This way too, you don’t have it swirling around in your head adding to the bigger issues at hand.

We have all said something like, “I have a lot on my mind”. As simple as this sounds, it really helps to write it all down. It really can make the difference between breezing through the day and barely getting by if you can get that stuff swirling in your head written down.

Journalling is a good idea in this sense; it allows you to get it out of your mind and onto paper. Many times a solution is not far off when you put a “voice” to it.

Also, I might not be able to solve an issue on my own and this list is a convenient means to remember a problem that I can then discuss with my husband at a time that is convenient to both of us. How many times he has appreciated that I didn’t hit him with some minor issue right as he walked in the door and my list keeps it for me so I don’t have to remember it.

This one idea has so simplified my life that I am not even bothered by frustrations so much – unless I don’t remember to put it on the list.

Try it today.

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