How’s progress on that long term project, former procrastinators? The one you’ve chosen to complete this month so it no longer hangs over your head and messes with your mental, physical, and emotional space? I’m moving along with my parents’ photo project. Thanks for helping me be accountable.
We cannot do everything at once, so some things must wait their turn. Making a prioritized list and posting it where it’s useful, helps us remember to follow through. It can also help by reminding us where those projects are stored so the items don’t take up our needed everyday space. Soil samples for the science project are not stacked on the kitchen counter for weeks.
What about avoiding left out leftovers in the first place?
1) Candidates for this often walk in the door with us or remain behind after a job. We need a “do it all now” mindset that the job’s not done until the cleanup is done. A mindset that says “everything to its place.”
I sometimes visit in a particular home overnight and have opportunity to watch the lady of the house follow her everyday routine, run errands, and deal with extra tasks. I’ve seen this repeatedly. She walks in the door, hangs her purse in its place, puts her keys in a basket. She takes dry cleaning to the bedroom closet. She carries the groceries to the kitchen and immediately puts every item where it goes. After every meal she does every dish, clears the counters, and leaves the table empty except for the centerpiece. Nothing is put off until later. Nothing is left at 80 percent “for now.” Besides a husband and home maintenance, she has toys and gear for the grandchild, parents to care for, volunteer work, and a business to run.
It’s actually fun to see how quick and effortless it is to put things in their place and to enjoy functioning in that home. No “do it laters” get in the way. A project is done fully and cleaned up.
Sometimes we have to tend to a scraped knee, mediate an argument, or stop for a phone call. But we can develop the routine of handling completely what we bring in without leaving partials in our path. We can clean up the remains of a project. Not using brief moments now results in more time lost later.
2) We can follow what we once taught: Don’t get out a second project until you’ve finished the first one. Avoid project jumping.
3) Sometimes there are left overs anyway. For these, maybe we need “Finish up Friday” or “Thorough Thursday” or another routine we establish for cleaning up leftovers. File the to file pile, try the recipe stuck to the fridge. Make it a point on Thorough Thursday to clear out anything left incomplete during the last week.
Challenge: This week, keep the stairway and counters clear of yet-to-deal-with items. Enjoy the 100 per cent difference!
Before concentrating on procrastination with Beth, I was definitely a project hopper! Honestly , I am still doing that a little, but I am also aware that is a weakness. I used to have a “pile” here and there on the counter and on the dining room table- for attending to-later! I am down to one small pile on the counter that has mail for the day and the latest magazine I’ve gotten…. I know- just attend to it! I am getting better though!
Beth Sterne says
This sounds wonderful, Viki. Your attention to doing what needs doing when it needs doing is inspiring me! Thanks.