Tuesday, May 17, 2011

90% Rule

There is this phenomenon in my household, and I am wondering if it happens to anyone else. It seems as though whenever we are getting close to finishing a project, we stop, wipe the dust/dirt/paint from our hands, congratulate ourselves, and walk away when there is still 10% left to complete.

You need some evidence? I've got tons.

Case in point. I told you how we jackhammered up some of the concrete jungle that is our backyard, spread out 1.6 tons of topsoil, and planted grass seed. But what I neglected to mention is that there was a pretty sizable pile of concrete pieces and dirt left that was too heavy to fit in the trash can.

The plan was to load this into the trash the week after we demoed, and if it didn't all fit one week, to keep chipping away at it until it was all gone... And that was 4 weeks ago. Let's face it, the pile could have been long gone by now if we would have stuck to the plan.

I finally motivated to take a crack at the original plan yesterday, and after just a few minutes of shoveling - yep, you read that right, I said minutes - I was left with only half the pile.

I hope that I don't get too lazy forget to put the rest of the pile in this week's trash.

I wish this were the only case of falling victim to the 90% rule, but alas, there is a toilet in our backyard waiting to meet the same fate as the rubble above.

The hubs replaced our second bathroom toilet last weekend, and again, was waiting for room in the trash to dispose of the old toilet before busting it into pieces. But the new toilet is working so well - it actually flushes! - that I think we both kinda forgot about it. Or maybe it's just not a priority. But then I had to ask myself, "How is an old toilet hanging out on your deck NOT a priority?" That's kinda crazy.

Other examples abound, like our 90% unpacked house that I confessed to yesterday and the hallway closet door that still needs to be rehung (we had to remove it to fix the master bathtub plumbing). I could go on, but this is just getting embarrassing.

Please, please reassure me that I am not the only one that stops seeing projects once they are 90% complete. If you're like us, how do you motivate to finish? If you're not, please share how you complete your projects without taking a month's break to finish that last 10%.


  1. Darling - You grew up in a house where projects were consistently done about half to 3/4 of the way. You come by it naturally! From both sides! Sometimes my fault, sometimes your father's. In fact I have an old toilet in my backyard as we speak, just like you! I don't know if this makes you feel better or not, it is just a cruel, cruel fact of life!! OOXX Mom

  2. That's definitely the rule around our house too, Eeeep!

  3. Shame, shame, I like to put 110% into everything I do.