I’ve got a mega task list of things I want to get done, but sometimes projects seem to slip away from me. The project I always seem to push to the side is now 3 years overdue! I decided to get it done this year and I’m proud to say I FINALLY made it happen. It took a little planning and organizing, but once I got into my groove – it was easy (well, easier) to get everything done.
Address the mess. I’ve been avoiding this pile AND this room because of this pile. Once I made the decision to clean up the desk and get my project done, I felt like I was already well on my way to getting everything done – and I hadn’t even started. Sometimes just mentally preparing yourself makes the project seem easier.
Do the easy stuff first. I don’t even know how these things got on my desk, but I knew I could put them away easily. When I looked at the desk, I took everything easy first so I wouldn’t be distracted with the bigger pieces of the project. Even if you only have 15 minutes, you can get something done and it’s fine to start wherever you prefer – even the easiest stuff.
Make “trip piles” that make your trips more productive. There were many easy things in my pile on my desk, but not all of them were in the area I was working. To save myself time and keep me on task, I made piles of the items that needed to downstairs or in other rooms. You don’t have to put everything away immediately, group items together and make one trip to save yourself time.
Make a list of everything that needs to get done. Once I cleaned off the desk, I was able to think more clearly and I made a mega task list of everything that needed to get done for my project, for my upcoming long weekend and in general in my house. By writing down everything I needed to do, it helped me prioritize what I needed to get done and figure out how much time each of those tasks would take. Then I just worked through the list.
Save important, but not essential, things for later. The two task lists I made for later got taped to my office wall. This way I could still see them, but they weren’t in the way of my essential task. Eliminating distractions helps you get your task done quicker and more efficiently because it allows you to focus on your main priority.
Piles are friends with everyone. As I’m working through my major project, I realized I need more space (ok, I always need more space) and it seemed much easier to group relevant items together in piles, in this case photos by month, so that I could easily sort each grouping of items and not be distracted by the other groups. Once I got everything into piles, I was able to focus on pieces of the task – making it much easier to get done.
Help yourself remember important details. When I started collecting items for my project, I knew I wouldn’t have time to get it done right away. So I did two things to set myself up for success. I organized our family photos to help me find things easier when I needed them and I wrote myself little notes about key milestones with the dates on them. Both of these things made it easy to put my project together the right way the first time.
Give the project enough time. I got so excited to get a few pages done that I put them in the baby SparkBook immediately and the rubber cement warped the pages. Oops! I’d almost ruined everything by rushing the project. With round two, I finished attaching the pictures and let everything set out overnight to dry. The next morning it was easy, breezy to slide everything into the book and I didn’t have to worry about the fumes destroying anything. Give yourself enough time. Plan for interruptions and be prepared for a few bumps in the road.
Celebrate when it all comes together. My project was finally finished! It looked great and it was exactly what I was hoping it would be. I was able to show the book to my youngest son and he was smiling at all of the pictures of himself – goal accomplished. Be sure to pat yourself on the back when you make it happen. You deserve it.
What is the project that you’ve been avoiding? Why don’t you start this plan to get it done. My project start to finish (minus the avoiding it entirely) took a month to finish, I was able to step-by-step get everything done because I had a plan and I wrote it down. You can do it. Think about your project and start today in making it happen.