The 'F*ck It' Principle
When executive dysfunction meets perfectionism, getting anything done can feel impossible. Simple tasks like brushing your teeth, showering, and cleaning can all seem so exhausting that it’s easier not to do them at all. I’ve recently learned something that has really helped me with this, so I’m here to share it with you today in the hopes that it can also help you. I call it ‘The F*ck It Principle.’
The problem I’ve encountered when trying to overcome executive dysfunction is the idea that everything has to be done perfectly or completely, or not at all. This idea held me back because often I wouldn’t have the energy to do the entirety of a task, so I just wouldn’t start. If I was hungry, I wouldn’t eat because the idea of having to cook something was too tiring. I wouldn’t brush my teeth, because getting up, standing there for 3 minutes, and brushing and flossing was more energy than I had. My room stayed a mess because a full cleaning was more effort than I could afford to put in.
Then I saw a quote online, saying ‘Anything worth doing, is also worth half-assing. Doing something halfway is better than not doing it at all’. I realized that a lot of the things I wasn’t doing at all, could be made easier or simplified.
When I was exhausted and hungry, instead of not eating because I didn’t want to cook something, I could just get a bowl of cereal and some water. I could spend less time brushing my teeth on lower energy days instead of skipping it because I didn’t have the mental energy for the entire 2-3 minutes. If I saw something small I could pick up and put away, I did, and if I had the energy, I could just make the bed or clear off my desk instead of leaving it for a day when I had energy for the whole task. Doing a little bit every so often instead of leaving it all until I have more energy meant that the entire job did end up getting done over time, or at least in a better state than it was before.
I call this idea ‘The F*ck It Principle’ because it lets go of the idea of having to do everything perfectly. Instead of procrastinating or agonizing over not having the energy to complete a task fully, you say, ‘f*ck it, I’ll do what I can, and that’s better than nothing.’
By letting go of the guilt we feel over not doing everything all the time, we can allow ourselves to do what we can and be proud of ourselves for it. Something small is better than nothing. A bowl of cereal is better than nothing, and making your bed or just opening your curtains for some light is better than leaving it messy or dark.
Having compassion for yourself and your struggles is important, and part of that journey is recognizing and working with your limitations on low days.
Hi, my name is Lee, and I blog about mental health, specifically my own experiences with ADHD, depression, and anxiety. I aim to help others feel less alone through sharing my story.
I have two cats named Marly and Marmalade, and I am currently working to get a degree in Professional Writing before I hopefully start on a Masters in Gender Studies and Doctorate in Psychology.