By Wendy the Other Half

Or how to live with someone who does lots of stuff (rarely finishing much) and how to use it to your advantage.

Part of series on Techniques for Motivating Other People the way you want, without manipulating others or being devious…. Honest.  For more motivation tips and tricks see the “Stuff from the Other Half” category

Now I live with someone who does a lot of stuff. He does this stuff very well but he does so much of it that he is easily distracted by some other stuff that he is doing. This type of man is usually pedantic (more on this and how to use it to your advantage later in my ramblings on the loft conversion) so you know that everything is going to be done properly but sometimes slowly.

The key to living with someone who does so much stuff is patience (by the bucket load). We have to remember, we’re in this for the long haul and stuff will get done eventually.

The main thing is not to nag, this will invariably push partner to garage where they will tinker (they hate it when you call it playing) about with things that are not important. These are on the maybe section of THE LIST and are not a priority and the more opportunity / excuses you give them to play, sorry tinker, the nearer that particular stuff comes to reality and that makes them spend even more time doing the stuff that isn’t a priority. Nagging is counterproductive.

The easiest way to get stuff done is stoic acceptance. This is productive in various ways. People in conversation will mention the windows, you will then very proudly say what a fantastic job other half has done, and how quickly it’s all come together in the end. Ask them round to visit  the windows in the front room where they can see how many other half has managed to make. Then the visitor can see how much room they take up. If you’re lucky they’ll ask how on Earth you manage, this gives you the opportunity to smile serenely and comment that it’s your fault that we didn’t have plastic windows fitted by someone else years ago, and it’ll all be worth it in the end.

This strategy works in two ways. First it’s an eye opener. I no longer see my front room as it actually is. In fact the front room has been unusable for me for one reason or another (full of stuff) for about four years. Christmas being the exception, then I’m insistent that stuff gets spread around the rest of the house and garage for a month (except the paneling of course as it wont fit anywhere else). If I can ignore how the room looks, so can your partner who cares less.

Secondly guilt kicks in. As you’ve never nagged (remember it’s counterproductive) or moaned and have only ever been justly proud and supportive, other half feels that you deserve the extra bit of effort it takes them to finally finish the job. After all they’ve got it to do anyway and the Irishman’s not going to have a running engine any time soon. They’ll still win their £20 bet so it’s no skin off their nose.

So remember, stoic acceptance, resignation that sometimes some stuff takes a long while and patience. (I hope the PE teacher who once made me write ‘patience is a virtue I do not yet possess’ 200 times is still around to read this)

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