Finding Your “Good Enough”

posted by Andrea | 10/27/2016
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good enough

As a self-proclaimed “do more at less than 100%” person (a.k.a. not a perfectionist in any way) I have become an expert at determining my own “good enough” standards and doing just enough to meet those standards.

This does not mean I’m lazy (at least not in my opinion); it simply means that I strive to be as efficient and as productive as I can be — doing as much as I can possibly do, as well as I can do it, in the amount of time I have to do it — without hemming and hawing over every nit-picky detail or spending hours and hours stuck in the rut of perfectionism.

I move quickly, I don’t waste time, and I’m almost always very satisfied with the good-enough-results of my efforts.

That said, I will be the first to admit that my good-enough-standards have been lowered a notch or two over the past few years — namely because we’ve added 3 more people to our family, and those people require A LOT of my time and energy 🙂

While I’m not one to blame my children for a messy home (for the most part, our house truly isn’t “messy”), I have shifted my priorities around quite a bit these past 5 years, and my housekeeping has taken somewhat of a backseat to other areas of my life.

By no means do we live in a filthy pigsty… but ideally I would spend more time dusting, clean the bathrooms more regularly, and do more thorough deep cleaning. Instead, I’ve created a “good enough” cleaning routine that keeps our house clean enough for me to feel comfortable living here and inviting guests inside, but not so clean that it requires crazy amounts of my time and energy.

I would also love to have more decorations throughout my home — both seasonal and everyday country farmhouse decor — but for the time being, I decorate with kid-friendly items, or keep my decorations where little hands cannot reach them.

Eventually, I will be able to keep my house as clean and decorated as I want… but for now it’s good enough. 

House projects and landscaping are other areas Dave and I have both settled for “good enough” on many occasions. We’re to the point where we’ve put a large amount of time, energy, and money into our home and our yard… and we are so happy with how everything has come together.

However, there are still so many little projects we’d like to do “someday” (can anyone relate!) We are anxious and excited to (eventually) get to those little projects; but we realize it might realistically be a few years away since our days already seem to be so filled with other things, people, activities, and obligations.

We frequently talk about our timeline for upcoming projects, but we aren’t forcing anything. We are content to let the wallpaper stay in the bathroom off the kitchen for now, and we’re fine with the fact that we never did any landscaping to replace the 12 huge trees we had removed last October… even though it looks horrible back in that area right now.

We will get to those projects eventually… but for now, it’s good enough! 

When it comes to my blog and business, I could do SO much more than I am. I could optimize my SEO, spend hours and hours promoting and engaging in social media, monetize my content with paid links and more advertisements, grow my email lists, pitch companies for sponsored posts and advertisements, speak for various women’s groups, and maybe even write a book!

It sounds so fun and exciting when I list everything out — especially since I could probably double my income if I did everything I listed above. But I would also have to put my kids in daycare all day, sacrifice almost all my free time, and get used to being on-the-go all the time.

That’s not what I want for my life right now, so I write my blog posts and do my VA work as quickly as possible and then move onto the next thing on my list. I’m thrilled to be able to work from home and happy with what I’m able to do while taking care of my kids.

In a few more years, I’ll have more time to devote to my business… but for right now, it’s good enough. 

 

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.

Everything from cooking and cleaning to finances and even self-care  — my main goal right now is to do as much as I can, as well as I can, in as little time as possible! 

I know this plan won’t work for every personality type or in every season of life, but it’s what seems to work the best for me right now.

If you constantly feel like you need to do more, I would encourage you to come up with your own “good enough” standards to free up some time.

Maybe that means only vacuuming once a week (or once a month) and using a few disinfectant wipes to “clean” the bathroom.

Maybe that means scheduling frozen pizza and takeout for 2 meals a week to allow more time for other activities.

Maybe it means ignoring the weeds for a few weeks and not planting a vegetable garden next spring.

Maybe it means not sorting your laundry or not putting out holiday decorations this year.

Whatever the case, I have a feeling you’ll feel much more freedom to move forward and move onto the next task on your list if you set your own good enough standards and stop dwelling on all the things you could be doing (because there is ALWAYS more to do!)

What is your “good enough”?

Related post for anyone striving for good enough:

Our Good Enough Vegetable Garden

Why I’m a Do More at Less Than 100% Person

EST: The 3 Letters that Can Sabotage Simple Living

Our Expectations Matter

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25 comments

  1. Weekend reading: October 29, 2016

    10/29/2016

    […] Finding Your “Good Enough” | Andrea Dekker […]

  2. Meghan

    10/28/2016

    Exactly! Wonderfully said! My good enough is often we don’t have a salad or vegetable with dinner – I just quickly slice a couple apples. My laundry will never be all done at once. There’s always 2-3 loads that could be done. Our master bath is the last room I clean. I don’t spend much time in there and no one really sees it. I keep up with the counter and toilet, but rarely clean the shower or floor. It’s good enough!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    ahhh yes, the laundry — I don’t even think it’s possible to really have ALL the laundry done!

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  3. Cindy Goller

    10/27/2016

    Hi Andrea,

    I’m a GR native now living in Wisconsin. I love your authenticity! I agree with KJ, too – it is very refreshing to easily get to your content without having to wade through a lot of “click bait”. Please don’t change how you do what you do!

    It has take me years to find my “good enough” on a lot of fronts. One choice I have made is to no longer send Christmas card or yearly newsletter. Instead I intentionally try to cultivate relationships throughout the year. Plus, not sending cards is a HUGE relief!

    Cindy

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Cindy — yay for GR natives and yay for finding your ‘good enough’!

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  4. Francie

    10/27/2016

    So wonderfully said! Thanks Andrea! http://supersimpleways.com/

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  5. Melissa Q

    10/27/2016

    For me “good enough” looks like a handful of housekeeping tasks to be done everyday and an aim to get others done weekly. Ifor I miss one day or one week, I know it will come around again the next day or week and my home won’t fall apart in the meantime.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, this is how I look at household chores too — try to do a couple each day and if I miss a day or so, I’ll come back to those items later. Nothing ever gets too gross over here 🙂

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  6. Beth

    10/27/2016

    Andrea,
    Your home is lovely. I appreciate the balanced way you think about a lot of things.
    Beth

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Beth!

    [Reply]

  7. Michelle

    10/27/2016

    I love this post!! It makes me feel like less of a failure because my house isn’t “magazine” worthy. My house is clean and organized “good enough” and when I feel it’s less then I get busy and bring it back to my satisfaction.

    I, personally, admire you for doing things just as you are. You’re very wise for knowing what exactly you need to be doing at this season in your life and keeping the balance between not doing enough and doing too much. In my opinion, your priorities are right where they need to be. You are such an inspiration for women to become more grounded and productive…which in turn makes them happier.

    I have been following your blog for quite awhile now, but I feel I am missing something. I am sorry if you have explained and I missed it but I am just wondering what does SEO and VA mean? Could you explain other than your blog and all the wonderful things you do that are obvious, what is your occupation currently and the things you have done in the past?

    Thank you.
    Michelle

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    well, feeling like “less of a failure” is definitely a step in the right direction 🙂

    Oh, and SEO = Search Engine Optimization — it basically means how well a blog or website is set up for search engines (like Google) to “find” their content. My blog is decent, but I could do a better job of this and then more people would find my information when they searched Google for things like “how to soften butter” or “how to simplify life”
    VA = Virtual Assistant. I’ve been working as a virtual assistant for many years now (mostly for other blogs) and it’s a great little income working on my computer at home.

    [Reply]

  8. Shan

    10/27/2016

    Dear Andrea, I LOVE this post! Seriously, you have been able to do so much more because of your philosophy. I’m twice as old as you and still have to learn this. Really appreciate your being able to explain the reason for your success in such a succinct way. Keep up the great work prioritizing the needs of your children and husband at this stage of life!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Shan… and I think you’re right. I really truly believe that I’m able to do SOOOOOO much more because of my good enough mentality.

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  9. KJ

    10/27/2016

    Hi Andrea!
    I am a longtime reader from California and this is my first time commenting. I have to say the reason I continue to faithfully read your blog and be inspired is precisely because you DO NOT monetize everything and fill it with various income streams like affiliate links, sponsored posts and giveaways. I get so turned off when the feel of a blog changes to become something that feels fake and resembles a marketing machine. I trust you and your content which is why I keep coming back to read.
    Thank you for all that you do. Blessings to you and your family.
    KJ

    [Reply]

    BlessedMama Reply:

    Yes, I feel the same exact way!

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    Brittany Reply:

    Agreed!

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    Michelle Reply:

    I love your blog just as it is. Please don’t change it. I agree with K.J. in that I have no interest in those blogs that feel like it’s all about the money instead of trying to make a difference. I appreciate what you do…I’m so sorry appreciation doesn’t increase your income.

    [Reply]

    Shan Reply:

    Dittos from a grandma. Keep up the good work with your family and home and everything else will come in due time.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    will do! Thanks Michelle!

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    Iliana Reply:

    I think the same!!
    Thanks Andrea for your honesty and great work!!

    [Reply]

    Melissa D. Reply:

    I agree with KJ as well. The authenticity and real life examples are what I appreciate about your blog. As a mom of teens, there are definitely areas of my life that have to be good enough for now. Life seasons change and for now, like you, my focus is on raising them! Keep up the good work!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I think there are always areas of our life that need to be “good enough” — but those areas are always changing. I was talking with my 80+ year old grandma the other day and she LOVES to clean. However, she gets tired more easily now so she told me her house isn’t as clean as she’d like it but it’s good enough. We laughed because MY house isn’t as clean as I’d like it either — but for completely different reasons!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much KJ! I appreciate your comment and kind words.

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    Ann Reply:

    I agree totally!

    [Reply]